Microalgae for lipid production: cultivation, extraction & detection

C. Russell, C. Rodriguez*, M. Yaseen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Efforts to reduce GHGs have made the production of alternative energy more critical to reach the 2050 net zero emissions targets, under the 2015 Paris agreement. Microalgae are a promising energy source for biofuel production, currently contributing 6.8 % of the world's energy in 2020. These highly diverse organisms convert sunlight and CO2, to produce a complex mixture of high-value biochemical compounds that include carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, carotenoids, polyphenols, and vitamins. To utilise lipids for biofuel production, the process consists of a cultivation, extraction, separation, and purification stage. The lipid productivity and recovery efficiencies at each stage can be improved by optimising the operating conditions combined with carefully selected technologies suitable for the desired objectives. This study considers each stage of the lipid production process and provides quantitative data and analysis of the performance of different technologies, by comparing mature existing technologies, with new innovative and hybrid systems, such as smart photobioreactors and milking.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102765
Number of pages15
JournalAlgal Research
Early online date1 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2022


  • biorefinery
  • cell lysis
  • lipid extraction
  • microalgae
  • switchable solvents


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