Bioresource Technology, Vol.257, 129-136, 2018
Understanding the mechanisms of lipid extraction from microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii after electrical field solicitations and mechanical stress within a microfluidic device
One way envisioned to overcome part of the issues biodiesel production encounters today is to develop a simple, economically viable and eco-friendly process for the extraction of lipids from microalgae. This study investigates the lipid extraction efficiency from the microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as well as the underlying mechanisms. We propose a new methodology combining a pulsed electric field (PEF) application and mechanical stresses as a pretreatment to improve lipid extraction with solvents. Cells enriched in lipids are therefore submitted to electric field pulses creating pores on the cell membrane and then subjected to a mechanical stress by applying cyclic pressures on the cell wall (using a microfluidic device). Results showed an increase in lipid extraction when cells were pretreated by the combination of both methods. Microscopic observations showed that both pretreatments affect the cell structure. Finally, the dependency of solvent lipid extraction efficiency with the cell wall structure is discussed.