Solvent Screening and Process Optimization for High Shear-Assisted Lipid Extraction from Wet Cake of Nannochloropsis Sp.


Microalgae are regarded as a promising feedstock for biofuels and value-added products but still suffer from an inefficient lipid extraction process. In the present study, a simple and energy-efficient extraction method is demonstrated to extract oil directly from the wet cake (260 g/L) of Nannochloropsis sp. with an assist from the high shear mixer (HSM). After the initial solvent screening, the composition of co-solvent and operating conditions were optimized according to lipid composition and extraction yield. The high shear-assisted extraction process was found to achieve 83% lipid extraction yield (94% for EPA) in 5 min and 95% yield (100% for EPA) in 30 min with minimal amounts of solvents (0.9 ml hexane, 0.39 ml ethanol, and 0.057 ml sulfuric acid for 1 g of wet cell) at 8000 rpm, 55 °C. In comparison with various two-step wet extraction methods, the HSM offers the most economical extraction in terms of specific energy consumption of 1.38 MJ/kg dry cell. Therefore, the HSM can be considered as an attractive alternative to conventional extraction methods, providing a new paradigm of wet extraction for microalgae.


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, Grant ABC-2010-0029728

Keywords and Phrases

EPA; High Shear Mixer; Nannochloropsis; Process Optimization; Solvent Extraction; Wet Microalgae

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0960-1481; 1879-0682

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2019 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

25 Oct 2019