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Extraction of Bioproducts from Algae in Water using Cavitating Jets

Award Information
Agency: Department of Commerce
Branch: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Contract: WC133R-11-CN-151
Agency Tracking Number: 11-11
Amount: $95,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.1.2SG
Solicitation Number: 1
Solicitation Year: 2011
Award Year: 2011
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2011-09-07
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2012-03-06
Small Business Information
10621-J Iron Bridge Road
Jessup, MD 20794-9381
United States
DUNS: 605227875
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Gregory Loraine
 Sr.Research Scientist
 (301) 604-3688
Business Contact
 Georges Chahine
Title: President
Phone: (301) 604-3688
Research Institution

One of the most promising biomass sources for fuels and other feedstocks is photosynthetic algae. Algae can produce lipids, proteins, and other compounds, and can be grown in salt water. Current production practices rely on expensive means of harvesting, concentrating, and extracting the algae. This makes the “bio-crude” produced by algae more expensive than petroleum. Recovering the cellular contents of the algae directly from the growth media would reduce production costs and improve profitability. This proposal is to develop a method for lysing the algae and recovering the bio-crude without pre-concentrating or dewatering.

Hydrodynamic cavitation using submerged jets uses fluid shear flow to create high pressure fluctuations in the shear layer to cause bubbles to grow and collapse using a fraction of the energy required for ultrasonic cavitation. Cavitation has been shown to have the capability to rupture algal cell membranes and release the cell contents. Cavitating jets also create clouds of fine bubbles that can attach to lipids in the water and lift them to the surface. By controlling the creation and collection of the resulting foam the lipids can be concentrated and recovered from the growth media with minimal energy input.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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