Biodiesel from algae: DAVV scientists master technique

[India] In a landmark scientific achievement, a team of scientists from Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya (DAVV) claimed to have developed a technique through which algae can fully be converted into biodiesel.

“We have been working on converting algae into biodiesel for past two years. As the technique to derive biodiesel from algae was already known worldwide, we succeeded in converting 70 per cent of algae into biodiesel at the initial stage of our experiment but we wanted to take that 70 per cent to 100 per cent. Now we have achieved that target also,” said Prof SP Singh, head of School of Energy and Environmental Studies at DAVV.

Singh led the team that carried out experiment. Singh said that at the initial stage of their experiment 30 percent of algae was going to ‘waste’ as glycerol. But their new technique is now leaving no residues. Singh said that they had collected algae from water bodies in the city for their experiment. “In foreign countries, biodiesel is derived from algae species ‘Arizona Mexican’ which is not found in Madhya Pradesh. So we used ‘Spirogyra’ species of algae for our experiment,” he said.

Singh stated that they are now working on design of compact processing plant for converting algae into biodiesel. “Once the design is ready we will request the state government to request farmers to setup the plants in villages so that their earning can increase,” he said adding that one plant would be setup on UTD campus also.

The benefit

Singh said that the biggest benefit of the biodiesel prepared by their technique is that it could be used with general diesel as fuel in vehicles. “To a certain amount, biodiesel can be used with general diesel as fuel for running vehicles,” he added. He also stated that generators, water pumps etc can also run with biodiesel.

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