"Solvent-free" ultrasound-assisted extraction of lipids from fresh microalgae cells: a green, clean and scalable process

Bioresour Technol. 2012 Jun;114:457-65. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2012.02.096. Epub 2012 Mar 7.


In order to comply with criteria of green chemistry concepts and sustainability, a new procedure has been performed for solvent-free ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) to extract lipids from fresh Nannochloropsis oculata biomass. Through response surface methodology (RSM) parameters affecting the oil recovery were optimized. Optimum conditions for oil extraction were estimated as follows: (i) 1000 W ultrasonic power, (ii) 30 min extraction time and (iii) biomass dry weight content at 5%. Yields were calculated by the total fatty acids methyl esters amounts analyzed by GC-FID-MS. The maximum oil recovery was around 0.21%. This value was compared with the one obtained with the conventional extraction method (Bligh and Dyer). Furthermore, effect of temperature on the yield was also investigated. The overall results show an innovative and effective extraction method adapted for microalgae oil recovery, without using solvent and with an enable scaling up.

MeSH terms

  • Green Chemistry Technology / methods*
  • Microalgae / metabolism*
  • Microalgae / radiation effects*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Solvents / chemistry
  • Sonication / methods*


  • Solvents