Stefan Cel Mare University of Suceava, Department of Technology & Management
Tehnomus vol:17 pages:7-10
Harvesting and the recovery of interesting products from microalgae is one of the most problematic areas of algal biofuel production technology. The traditional downstream process, nowadays used in the food and feed industry, runs up to more than 50% of the total production cost of Single Cell Oils (SCO). This research is focused on the development of a simple, robust and economical feasible mechanical downstream process set up for the commercial production of SCO. An efficient yield technique to extract the biomass from its growing medium and the disruption of the harvested cells are the main focuses. Two algae model organisms with different properties were selected: Phaeodactylum tricornutum and Nannochloropsis sp.
In this study crossflow (micro)filtration is investigated as an alternative for the concentration of the fragile cells. As a result of these tests, crossflow filtration seems to be a suitable technology to concentrate algae up to around 60-70%. Also harvest time, capital cost, consumable cost, ease of scale-ability and process robustness of the technique are kept under consideration.