Date of Award

Fall 2013

Project Type


Program or Major

Chemical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Ihab Farag


The increase in petroleum-based aviation fuel consumption, the decrease in petroleum resources, the fluctuation of the crude oil price, the increase in greenhouse gas emission and the need for energy security are motivating the development of an alternate jet fuel. Bio-jet fuel has to be a drop in fuel, technically and economically feasible, environmentally friendly, greener than jet fuel, produced locally and low gallon per Btu. Bic jet fuel has been produced by blending petro-based jet fuel with microalgae biodiesel (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester, or simply FAME). Indoor microalgae growth, lipids extraction and transetrification to biodiesel are energy and fresh water intensive and time consuming. In addition, the quality of the biodiesel product and the physical properties of the bio-jet fuel blends are unknown. This work addressed these challenges. Minimizing the energy requirements and making microalgae growth process greener were accomplished by replacing fluorescent lights with light emitting diodes (LEDs). Reducing fresh water footprint in algae growth was accomplished by waste water use. Microalgae biodiesel production time was reduced using the one-step (in-situ transestrification) process. Yields up to 56.82 mg FAME/g dry algae were obtained. Predicted physical properties of in-situ FAME satisfied European and American standards confirming its quality. Lipid triggering by nitrogen deprivation was accomplished in order to increase the FAME production. Bio-jet fuel freezing points and heating values were measured for different jet fuel to biodiesel blend ratios.