Fermentation of Algae to Ethanol and Butanol

The algae's carbohydrate content can be fermented into bioethanol and biobutanol. Butanol can be made from algae or diatoms using only a solar powered biorefinery. This fuel has an energy density 10% less than gasoline, and greater than that of either ethanol or methanol. In most gasoline engines, butanol can be used in place of gasoline with no modifications. In several tests, butanol consumption is similar to that of gasoline, and when blended with gasoline, provides better performance and corrosion resistance than that of ethanol or E85. The green waste left over from the algae oil extraction can be used to produce butanol.

Flow Diagram

(Source: http://www.intechopen.com/books/biodiesel-feedstocks-production-and-applications/algae-as-natural-biorefinery)


Recycling tank
Oil Compressor
Algal oil tanks
Algal pulp tank
Esterification Reactor
Thermo couple
Biodiesel tank
Glycerol tank


Video Links

Algae Fermentation - Alltech facility in Winchester, Kentucky, USA



  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algae_fuel
  2. http://www.intechopen.com/books/biodiesel-feedstocks-production-and-applications/algae-as-natural-biorefinery
  3. http://youtu.be/a58JJH9pxOU

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