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Abstract

Production and Evaluation of Crude Oil Extract from Macroalgal Biomass: Its Implication to Environment and Economic Sustainability

Author: Glenda Joy G. Plofino

This study aimed to produce and evaluate the crude oil extract from macroalgal biomass and its implication to environmental and economic sustainability. The following concerns were looked into: (1) the different species of algae present in macroalgal biomass; (2) the steps in the production of crude oil extract from the macroalgal biomass; (3) the value of physico-chemical properties of crude oil extract along; density, specific, gravity, boiling point, flashpoint, moisture content, miscibility ash content and flammability; (4) the comparison of recorded value to the standard value of biofuel and commercial fuel; (5) the academic implication of extracting crude oil from algal biomass in terms of : (a) environmental and economic sustainability, (b) curriculum and instruction, (c) home, school and government partnership; and (6) policy recommendation to promote mass production of crude oil from macroalgal biomass. This study was premised on the following assumptions: (1) the algal biomass is composed of different macroalgal species; (2) there are steps or procedures to be followed to extract crude oil from algal biomass; (3) there are physico-chemical properties in the crude oil extract that are similar to the commercial fuel; (4) the crude oil extract is within the level of accepted standard of physico-chemical properties of commercial fuel; (5) informing the home, the school, the community and the government on the properties of crude oil extract and its implication to the environmental and economic sustainability can promote the development of macroalgae as a new source of energy; and (6) there are policies along educational management, environmental and economic awareness and socio-political accessibility that can be promoted to support further research on macroalgae as potential source of biofuel. This study employed descriptive-experimental design. The design was used to describe the species present in the biomass and the value properties of the extract. The experimental design was used to obtain the values of the identified physico-chemical properties of the crude oil extract. The study revealed that: (1) macroalgal biomass contained Spirogyra azygospora, Spirogyra iona, Cladophora sauteri and Oscillatora limosa; (2) the preparation of crude oil extract involved: collection and washing of macroalgae, drying and powdering of dried biomass pulverization and Soxhlet extraction of the biomass; (3) across physico-chemical properties, density and specific gravity recorded were both 847 k/m³, boiling point was 70°C, flashpoint measured 62℃, moisture and ash contents were 50.1% and 62.4% respectively, miscible with kerosene and benzene, and combustible when ignited, (4) density, specific gravity and flashpoint were found to be similar to the international standard of diesel; boiling point was closely related to the standar of bioethanol; moisture and ash contents were too high and did not satisfy the acceptable limit; and (5) informing the home, the school, the community and the government of the properties of crude extract and its implication to the environment and economic sustainability can promote the development of macroalgae as alternative source of energy; and (6) establishment of NCF Institute on Environmental Management, inclusion of algal based education and Synergy Program in school and an Agri- prenueur Project on algae production are recommended to support researches on macroalgae as possible source of biofuel. The study concluded that (1) macroalgal biomass contained different species that are capable of producing crude oil; (2) there were specific steps followed in extracting crude oil from macroalgal biomass; (3) four out of six properties of the crude extract were found to be in close value to the fuel properties; (4) density, specific gravity and flashpoint recorded values were to be comparable to the standard value of diesel; boiling point had a close value with bioethanol; moisture and ash contents were outside the standard limit for fuel properties; and the crude extract was combustible and miscible with kerosene and benzenes; (5) informing the home, the school, the community and the government on the properties of crude oil extract and its environmental and economic implication provide an opportunity to develop potential source of energy from macroalgae; and (6) a memorandum was drafted to encourage and support further studies on macroalgae for mass production of crude oil.

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