Power dissipation in microwave-enhanced in situ transesterification of algal biomass to biodiesel

Prafulla D. Patil, Harvind Reddy, Tapaswy Muppaneni, Aravind Mannarswamy, Tanner Schuab, F. Omar Holguin, Peter Lammers, Nagamany Nirmalakhandan, Peter Cooke, Shuguang Deng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


We investigated the effect of power dissipation on microwave-accelerated simultaneous extraction and transesterification of dry algal biomass (Nannochloropsis salina) to biodiesel. The response surface methodology (RSM) was applied to design the experiments and optimize the process parameters, including dry algae to methanol ratio, reaction time and catalyst concentrations, by evaluating their influences on the fatty acid methyl ester yield (FAME) under controlled microwave power conditions. The microwave energy utilization efficiency was estimated at various power levels to optimize the power dissipation, maximize FAME yields and minimize energy losses. The algal biomass characterization and algal biodiesel analysis were performed using various analytical instruments such as FTIR, SEM-EDS, TGA and GC-MS. The Nile Red method was applied for lipid localization in microalgae cells using confocal microscopy and fluorescence spectroscopy. The direct conversion technique has the potential to provide energy-efficient and economical routes for biodiesel production from algal biomass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)809-818
Number of pages10
JournalGreen Chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 3 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution


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