Processing Nannochloropsis gaditana biomass for the extraction of high value biocompounds
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Author/sSales, Rafael; Ceron, Maria del Carmen; Navarro-López, Elvira; González-López, Cynthia Victoria; Tsuzuki, Mônica; [et al.]
Extraction of carotenoids and fatty acids from microalgae is a technological bottleneck in processing. An improved extraction process was developed to scale the production of these bioproducts from Nannochloropsis gaditana. Different cell disruption methods were evaluated in terms of carotenoid release. Ethanol was substituted with isopropyl alcohol in a three-component solution of water:isopropyl alcohol:hexane (WIH), in which the extracts were separated by solution partitioning. This resulted in higher carotenoid and fatty acid recovery yields if compared with the standard method. The extraction method was replicated on a pilot scale, obtaining similar carotenoid recovery yields, higher than those of the standard method. Although fatty acid recovery was lower than that of the small-scale tests, yields above 85% were obtained. This demonstrated that the method was scalable for the extraction of high-value products from microalgae up to 10-L reactor volume. The use of isopropyl alcohol...