Towards green extraction methods from microalgae learning from the classics

Paola Imbimbo, Luigi D’Elia, Davide Liberti, Giuseppe Olivieri, Daria Maria Monti*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Microalgae started receiving attention as producers of third generation of biofuel, but they are rich in many bioactive compounds. Indeed, they produce many molecules endowed with benefic effects on human health which are highly requested in the market. Thus, it would be important to fractionate algal biomass into its several high-value compounds: this represents the basis of the microalgal biorefinery approach. Usually, conventional extraction methods have been used to extract a single class of molecules, with many side effects on the environment and on human health. The development of a green downstream platform could help in obtaining different class of molecules with high purity along with low environmental impact. This review is focused on technical advances that have been performed, from classic methods to the newest and green ones. Indeed, it is fundamental to set up new procedures that do not affect the biological activity of the extracted molecules. A comparative analysis has been performed among the conventional methods and the new extraction techniques, i.e., switchable solvents and microwave-assisted and compressed fluid extractions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9067-9077
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Volume104
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Compressed fluid extraction
  • Green chemistry
  • Lipids
  • Microalgae
  • Microwave-assisted extraction
  • Switchable solvents

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