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Microalgae have the potential to become a major global renewable fuels source, beneficially utilizing sunlight, carbon dioxide and nutrients to rapidly grow long chain hydrocarbons (lipids). These lipids, once extracted and purified, present an excellent feedstock for traditional refining operations. Currently, inefficient algal oil extraction methods have limited the economic viability of large scale commercial production facilities. These conventional methods require significant energy input and produce only modest lipid yields (5-20% by dry weight) resulting in both a very high cost per gallon and significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Through two years of ongoing research and development, Solution Recovery Services (SRS) has developed a transformational patent-pending technology which increases algal lipid yields significantly (to 40-60% by dry weight). This is accomplished through physical and chemical methods that eliminate the expensive and energy-intensive algae drying step and extract lipids from both the cell's vacuoles and walls. These procedures have been refined through bench-scale extraction tests and batch processed pilot plant trials and validated through collaboration with leading entities in the private and public sectors.