August 13, 2009

Application note details algae oil separation

ESA Biosciences has released an application note describing a method using gradient reversed-phase HPLC and the Corona charged aerosol detector to separate crude algae oil into its components.

Along with biodiesel, synthesised from vegetable oil, oil from algae is being developed as an alternate fuel source.

Algal oil can be transformed into multiple fuel types, including diesel, kerosene and gasoline.

This application note describes a method to separate crude algae oil into its various components using gradient reversed-phase HPLC combined with the Corona charged aerosol detector (CAD), which can detect all non-volatile analytes down to low nanograms on column.

Several classes of lipids are identifiable in a single run: free fatty acids, fatty alcohols, phospholipids, mono-, di- and triacylglycerides, sterols and steroids.

Also, many of these compounds are not visible with UV/Vis detection alone, which makes the Corona a suitable detector for these samples.

Another benefit lies in the relative uniformity of response of the CAD independent of chemical structure; typical response factors lie within 20 per cent of each other.

Once the crude material has been transformed into a biofuel, such as biodiesel, the Corona CAD can also be used to further characterise the finished product, contamination with glycerol, glycerides and ions.

The Corona CAD has the sensitivity to see low-level compounds to allow a broad range of molecular species to be measured.

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