Biorefinery of microalgae for food and fuel

M. Vanthoor-Koopmans, R.H. Wijffels, M.J. Barbosa, M.H.M. Eppink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

380 Citations (Scopus)


Microalgae are a promising source for proteins, lipids and carbohydrates for the food/feed and biofuel industry. In comparison with soya and palm oil, microalgae can be grown in a more efficient and sustainable way. To make microalgae production economically feasible it is necessary to optimally use all produced compounds. To accomplish this focus needs to be put on biorefinery techniques which are mild and effective. Of the techniques described, Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) seems to be the most developed technique compared to other cell disruption applications. For separation technology ionic liquids seems most promising as they are able to both separate hydrophobic and hydrophilic compounds. But additional studies need to be evolved in the coming years to investigate their relevance as novel cell disruption and separation methods. We propose a complete downstream processing flow diagram that is promising in terms of low energy use and state of the art knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-149
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • pulsed electric-field
  • ionic liquids
  • capillary-electrophoresis
  • microfluidic devices
  • gas-chromatography
  • stationary phases
  • orange juice
  • extraction
  • separation
  • proteins


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