Quantification of Lipid Content in Oleaginous Biomass Using Thermogravimetry

Methods Mol Biol. 2019:1995:121-129. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9484-7_6.


Laboratory analytical techniques employed for triglyceride quantification in oleaginous biomass (e.g., microalgae and oilseeds) involve multiple steps and typically require use of volatile organic solvents. Here we describe a single-step approach for measurement of triglycerides using thermogravimetry (TG). We have observed that triglycerides undergo complete volatilization over a narrow temperature interval of 370-450 °C, with negligible solid residue under inert atmosphere, whereas other constituents of oleaginous biomass (such as proteins and carbohydrates) primarily degrade below 350 °C. As a result, triglyceride content of biomass can be estimated using TG by determining the mass loss of the sample in the temperature interval of 370-450 °C.

Keywords: Lipids; Microalgae; Oleaginous biomass; Thermogravimetry; Triglycerides.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biomass
  • Hot Temperature
  • Microalgae / chemistry*
  • Thermogravimetry / methods*
  • Triglycerides / analysis*
  • Volatilization


  • Triglycerides