Pulsed electric field based cyclic protein extraction of microalgae towards closed-loop biorefinery concepts.Bioresour Technol. 2019 Nov; 291:121870.BT
Microalgae-based biorefinery concepts can contribute to providing sufficient resources for a growing world population. However, the performance needs to be improved, which requires innovative technologies and processes. Continuous extraction from Chlorella vulgaris cultures via pulsed electric field (PEF) processing might be a viable process to increase the performance of microalgae-based biorefinery concepts. In this study, increasing protein extraction rates were observed with increasing electric field strength, up to 96.6 ± 4.8% of the free protein in the microalgae. However, increased extraction rates negatively influenced microalgae growth after PEF treatment. A free protein extraction rate up to 29.1 ± 1.1% without a significant influence on microalgal growth after 168 h was achieved (p = 0.788). Within the scope of this work, a protocol for continuous protein extraction during microalgae cultivation by PEF processing was developed. The incorporation of innovative downstream into upstream processing could be a viable future concept.