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Metabolites. 2018 Oct 15;8(4). pii: E65. doi: 10.3390/metabo8040065.

The Effect of High-Intensity Ultraviolet Light to Elicit Microalgal Cell Lysis and Enhance Lipid Extraction.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield S3 7HF, UK. thomas_sydney@hotmail.co.uk.
2
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, ChELSI Institute, Advanced Biomanufacturing Centre, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 3JD, UK. jo-ann.marshall@svgcc.vc.
3
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, ChELSI Institute, Advanced Biomanufacturing Centre, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 3JD, UK. R.V.Kapoore@swansea.ac.uk.
4
Department of Biosciences, College of Science, Swansea University, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK. R.V.Kapoore@swansea.ac.uk.
5
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, ChELSI Institute, Advanced Biomanufacturing Centre, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 3JD, UK. s.vaidyanathan@sheffield.ac.uk.
6
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, ChELSI Institute, Advanced Biomanufacturing Centre, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 3JD, UK. j.pandhal@sheffield.ac.uk.
7
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield S3 7HQ, UK. p.fairclough@sheffield.ac.uk.

Abstract

Currently, the energy required to produce biofuel from algae is 1.38 times the energy available from the fuel. Current methods do not deliver scalable, commercially viable cell wall disruption, which creates a bottleneck on downstream processing. This is primarily due to the methods depositing energy within the water as opposed to within the algae. This study investigates ultraviolet B (UVB) as a disruption method for the green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Dunaliella salina and Micractinium inermum to enhance solvent lipid extraction. After 232 seconds of UVB exposure at 1.5 W/cm², cultures of C. reinhardtii (culture density 0.7 mg/mL) showed 90% disruption, measured using cell counting, correlating to an energy consumption of 5.6 MJ/L algae. Small-scale laboratory tests on C. reinhardtii showed bead beating achieving 45.3 mg/L fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) and UV irradiation achieving 79.9 mg/L (lipids solvent extracted and converted to FAME for measurement). The alga M. inermum required a larger dosage of UVB due to its thicker cell wall, achieving a FAME yield of 226 mg/L, compared with 208 mg/L for bead beating. This indicates that UV disruption had a higher efficiency when used for solvent lipid extraction. This study serves as a proof of concept for UV irradiation as a method for algal cell disruption.

KEYWORDS:

Chlamydomonas reinhardtii; Dunaliella salina; Micractinium inermum; biodiesel; cell disruption; microalgae; ultraviolet light

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