Algal oil Extraction

Microalgae may be a promising source of feedstock for bio fuels because of a) their high lipid/oil contents (40 to 60% of dry weight); b) high specific growth rates (1 to 3 doubling time per day); c) the ability to thrive in saline/brackish water and utilize nutrients (N, P, and CO2) from waste-streams (e.g., wastewater and flue gases from fossil fuel-fired power plants) for growth, and use marginal lands (desert, arid- and semi-arid lands) for wide-scale production all year around; and d) co-production of value-added products (e.g., biopolymers, proteins, polysaccharide, pigments). However, algal oils studied for biofuels so far are rather similar in chemical and physical properties to that of common crop oils, which are enriched with C16 to Cl 8 fatty acids/esters.

The present invention provides methods for producing algal medium chain length fatty acids or hydrocarbons.

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