Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Gude, Veera Gnaneswar

Committee Member

Truax, Dennis D.

Committee Member

Hernandez, Rafael A.

Committee Member

Martin, James L.

Committee Member

Magbanua, Benjamin S., Jr.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


This study presents the use of non-conventional methods such as microwaves and ultrasound for algal biodiesel production. Dry algae biomass (Chlorella sp.) was used as feedstock to evaluate three novel single-step extractive-transesterification methods: 1) microwave irradiation with ethanol as solvent/reactant; 2) microwave irradiation with ethanol as reactant and hexane as solvent and 3) ultrasound irradiation with ethanol as solvent/reactant, all catalyzed by sodium hydroxide catalyst. The three novel methods were compared with the conventional Bligh and Dyer method which followed a two-step extraction and transesterification process. The maximum lipid yields for microwave, microwave with hexane, ultrasound, and Bligh and Dyer methods were 20.1%, 20.1% ,18.5, and 13.9%, respectively while the biodiesel (FAEE) conversion of the algal lipids were 96.2%, 94.3%, 95.0%, and 78.1%, respectively. Two comparative process optimization studies (microwave vs. ultrasound and microwave vs. microwave-hexane), algae biomass characterization, FAEE composition analysis and specific energy consumption are presented.