Biorefinery of functional biomolecules from algae

Edgar Suarez Garcia

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


Algae have been regarded as a promising source of several biomolecules with industrial interest such as proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and pigments. To obtain such biomolecules, it is necessary to implement several extraction and fractionation steps which often result in poor yields, low purities and high costs. To overcome these issues, novel processes are needed, in which the concepts of minimum processing, integration of unit operations, in situ extraction and recyclability are applied. In this PhD thesis several fractionation strategies are presented in which such concepts are implemented. The main goal is to efficiently refine algal biomass into fractions containing functional biomolecules, in particular proteins. The fractionation strategies investigated here are based on mechanical disintegration, using bead milling, and chemical dissolution by means of ionic liquids as green solvents. Furthermore, it is demonstrated how minimum processing can lead, not only to low energy consumptions, but to fractions which display technical functionality comparable to animal derived protein isolates. Algae fraction are therefore envisioned as novel animal-free protein ingredients which can be used as foaming, emulsifying and gelling agents in food products.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Wijffels, Rene, Promotor
  • Eppink, Michel, Promotor
  • van den Berg, C., Co-promotor
Award date15 Mar 2019
Place of PublicationWageningen
Print ISBNs9789463435956
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019


  • algae
  • biobased economy
  • biorefinery
  • plant protein


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  • AlgaePro4you

    Suarez Garcia, E., Eppink, M., Wijffels, R. & van den Berg, C.


    Project: PhD

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