Yale University
225 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06520
phone: 203.432.5215
greenchemistry@yale.edu

Energy

  • Extraction of Algal Lipids for Use in Biodiesel Production

     Details...
    The objective of this research is to contribute to the development of algal lipids as a viable biofuel energy source by optimizing lipid extraction techniques for efficiency, sustainability, decreased hazard, and selectivity.

    Due to the growing demand for energy and the depletion of non-renewable sources, alternative fuel sources need to be researched and brought to the level where viable implementation can occur.  To advance the realization of algae as a feedstock for biodiesel, process technologies and closed-loop biomass use must be optimized. The objective of this research is to develop the potential of algal lipid for use in biodiesel production by optimizing lipid extraction techniques for efficiency, sustainability, decreased hazard, and selectivity. In particular, extraction improvements will include cell disruption, greener solvent systems (i.e. supercritical fluid extraction), selective extraction, and simplified extraction-fuel conversion processes.  Further research will be conducted on algae cell optimization as a starting material as well as on potential end-use applications for unused biomass.

  • Oxidative Degradation of Lignin

     Details...
    Oxidative degradation of lignin model compounds using green oxidants, naturally abundant transition metals, and environmentally benign solvents.

    Our approach is to test different manganese based complexes and salts with green oxidants on lignin model compounds that we have prepared. These models allow us to more easily determine the extent and mode of oxidation that each set of complexes/oxidants are capable of. It is our intention to use naturally abundant transition metals, environmentally friendly oxidants, and the greenest solvents possible. Once we have a system that has been shown to degrade the models we can move on to actual lignin.