patent number 8148559
Disclosed are processes for development and recovery of lipids from biomass. A plant or microorganism-based biomass can be developed to encourage a desired lipid profile. Following development, ecologically friendly normally gaseous fluids such as carbon dioxide can be pressurized to a supercritical state followed by rapid expansion. The fluid is first contacted with a biomass source including oil-containing microorganisms and/or agricultural products. For instance, fungi or algae can be bioconverted from another biomass sources such as canola seed or corn syrup and then contacted with the high pressure fluid. During a contact period, the fluid can diffuse into the biomass, and in particular through the cell walls of the biomass. The fluid undergoes rapid release of pressure and opens the cell structure for improved release of oil. The fluid can optionally be utilized for extraction following the explosion process. For instance, the fluid can be re-pressurized in the same vessel for extraction processes.
Clemson University Research Foundation (Clemson, SC, US)
554/80, 554/84, 558/166, 558/169