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Showing posts from June, 2013

Trip to Aban Offshore's lab

I took a trip to the lab facility of Aban Offshore Ltd. where they are currently doing work on commercial production of biofuels from algae. This is pretty much what I saw and learnt! :)
Algae is used as the source of fuel because it is rich in lipids, carbohydrates and proteins. There are two types of algal strains used - phycocyanin(blue), which is an anti cancer drug, and haematococcus(yellow), which is valued for it's pigments. Algal strains are first grown in nutrient media. The medium is essentially water and contains little or no added nutrients. Algae is present in this medium in the concentration of 1g/L. Harvesting this algae from the medium is done by various methods depending on the scale. In lab scale, algal solution is placed on a Whatmann filter paper and a vacuum pump is used to remove the water. Larger scale harvesting is done by means of filtering through a thin filtering sheet which is 5 microns thick. The resultant sludge contains 80% water and 20% al…