Cell disruption and lipid extraction from Chlorella species for biorefinery applications: Recent advances

Bioresour Technol. 2022 Dec;366:128183. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2022.128183. Epub 2022 Oct 25.


Chlorella is a promising microalga for CO2-neutral biorefinery that co-produces drop-in biofuels and multiple biochemicals. Cell disruption and selective lipid extraction steps are major technical bottlenecks in biorefinement because of the inherent robustness and complexity of algal cell walls. This review focuses on the state-of-the-art achievements in cell disruption and lipid extraction methods for Chlorella species within the last five years. Various chemical, physical, and biological approaches have been detailed theoretically, compared, and discussed in terms of the degree of cell wall disruption, lipid extractability, chemical toxicity, cost-effectiveness, energy use, scalability, customer preferences, environment friendliness, and synergistic combinations of different methods. Future challenges and prospects of environmental-friendly and efficient extraction technologies are also outlined for practical applications in sustainable Chlorella biorefineries. Given the diverse industrial applications of Chlorella, this review may provide useful information for downstream processing of the advanced biorefineries of other algae genera.

Keywords: Algal biorefinery; Cell disruption; Chlorella; Extraction; Lipids.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biofuels
  • Biomass
  • Cell Wall
  • Chlorella*
  • Lipids
  • Microalgae*


  • Biofuels
  • Lipids