Send to

Choose Destination
Bioresour Technol. 2014 Oct;169:198-205. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2014.06.106. Epub 2014 Jul 5.

Extraction of saponifiable lipids from wet microalgal biomass for biodiesel production.

Author information

Area of Chemical Engineering, University of Almería, 04120 Almería, Spain.
Area of Chemical Engineering, University of Almería, 04120 Almería, Spain. Electronic address:


Saponifiable lipids (SLs) were extracted with hexane from wet biomass (86 wt% water) of the microalga Nannochloropsis gaditana in order to transform them into fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs, biodiesel). The influence of homogenization pressure on SL extraction yield at low temperature (20-22 °C) was studied. Homogenization at 1700 bar tripled the SL extraction yield. Two biomass batches with similar total lipid content but different lipidic compositions were used. Batch 1 contained fewer SLs (12.0 wt%) and neutral saponifiable lipids (NSLs, 7.9 wt%) than batch 2 (21.6 and 17.2 wt%, respectively). For this reason, and due to the selectivity of hexane toward NSLs, high SL yield (69.1 wt%) and purity (71.0 wt%) were obtained from batch 2. Moreover, this extract contains a small percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids (16.9 wt%), thereby improving the biodiesel quality. Finally, up to 97.0% of extracted SLs were transformed to FAMEs by acid catalyzed transesterification.


Biodiesel; Extraction; High-pressure homogenization; Microalga; Saponifiable lipid

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center