Energy consumption and water-soluble protein release by cell wall disruption of Nannochloropsis gaditana

C. Safi*, L. Cabas Rodriguez, W.J. Mulder, N. Engelen-Smit, W. Spekking, L.A.M. van den Broek, G. Olivieri, L. Sijtsma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Several cell disruption methods were tested on Nannochloropsis gaditana, to evaluate their efficiency in terms of cell disintegration, energy input and release of soluble proteins. High-pressure homogenization (HPH) and bead milling were the most efficient with >95% cell disintegration, ±50% (w/w) release of total proteins and low energy input (<0.5−1 biomass). Enzymatic treatment required low energy input (<0.34−1 biomass), but it only released ±35% protein (w/w). Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) was neither energy-efficient (10.44−1 biomass) nor successful for protein release (only 10% proteins w/w) and cell disintegration. The release of proteins after applying HPH and bead milling always required less intensive operating conditions for cell disruption. The energy cost per unit of released protein ranged from 0.15–0.25 €.kgProtein −1 in case of HPH, and up to 2–20 €.kgProtein −1 in case of PEF.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-210
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2017



  • Bead milling
  • Enzymes
  • High-pressure homogenization
  • Pulsed Electric Field
  • Soluble proteins

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