Combined extraction processes of lipid from Chlorella vulgaris microalgae: microwave prior to supercritical carbon dioxide extraction

Int J Mol Sci. 2011;12(12):9332-41. doi: 10.3390/ijms12129332. Epub 2011 Dec 13.


Extraction yields and fatty acid profiles from freeze-dried Chlorella vulgaris by microwave pretreatment followed by supercritical carbon dioxide (MW-SCCO(2)) extraction were compared with those obtained by supercritical carbon dioxide extraction alone (SCCO(2)). Work performed with pressure range of 20-28 Mpa and temperature interval of 40-70 °C, gave the highest extraction yield (w/w dry weight) at 28 MPa/40 °C. MW-SCCO(2) allowed to obtain the highest extraction yield (4.73%) compared to SCCO(2) extraction alone (1.81%). Qualitative and quantitative analyses of microalgae oil showed that palmitic, oleic, linoleic and α-linolenic acid were the most abundant identified fatty acids. Oils obtained by MW-SCCO(2) extraction had the highest concentrations of fatty acids compared to SCCO(2) extraction without pretreatment. Native form, and microwave pretreated and untreated microalgae were observed by scanning electronic microscopy (SEM). SEM micrographs of pretreated microalgae present tearing wall agglomerates. After SCCO(2), microwave pretreated microalgae presented several micro cracks; while native form microalgae wall was slightly damaged.

Keywords: GC/MS; lipid extraction; microalgae; microwave; supercritical carbon dioxide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carbon Dioxide / chemistry
  • Cell Fractionation / methods
  • Chlorella / chemistry*
  • Chlorella / radiation effects
  • Lipids / chemistry*
  • Microwaves*


  • Lipids
  • Carbon Dioxide