Optimization of microwave-assisted transesterification of dry algal biomass using response surface methodology

Prafulla D. Patil, Veera Gnaneswar Gude, Aravind Mannarswamy, Peter Cooke, Stuart Munson-McGee, Nagamany Nirmalakhandan, Peter Lammers, Shuguang Deng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


The effect of microwave irradiation on the simultaneous extraction and transesterification (in situ transesterifcation) of dry algal biomass to biodiesel was investigated. A high degree of oil/lipid extraction from dry algal biomass and an efficient conversion of the oils/lipids to biodiesel were demonstrated in a set of well-designed experimental runs. A response surface methodology (RSM) was used to analyze the influence of the process variables (dry algae to methanol (wt/vol) ratio, catalyst concentration, and reaction time) on the fatty acid methyl ester conversion. Based on the experimental results and RSM analysis, the optimal conditions for this process were determined as: dry algae to methanol (wt/vol) ratio of around 1:12, catalyst concentration about 2 wt.%, and reaction time of 4. min. The algal biodiesel samples were analyzed with GC-MS and thin layer chromatography (TLC) methods. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images of the algal biomass samples before and after the extraction/transesterification reaction are also presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1399-1405
Number of pages7
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Biodiesel
  • Dry algae
  • Extractive transesterification
  • Microwave-assisted extraction
  • Response surface methodology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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