Faculty Advisor

Thompson, Robert W.

Project Center

San Diego, California


Algae oils constitute promising and sustainable alternatives to fish oil for omega-3 fatty acids, and have applications ranging from foods and medicine to fuel and cosmetics. Among identified problems preventing a real take-off in algae oil production is the lack of efficient and mild extraction techniques that preserve the valuable fatty acids in the algal oil. For the Synthetic Genomics (SGI) Internship/ MQP project, a solvent extraction technique was tested, based on SGI analytical methods. The extraction efficiency of different solvents on varied microalgae strains was analyzed. Total lipid recovered by each solvent for each strain was determined. A fatty acid profile was characterized and an initial pond lay-out for one selected species was designed.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

August 2011


Chemical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Chemical Engineering

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