Continuous nanosecond pulsed electric field treatments foster the upstream performance of Chlorella vulgaris-based biorefinery concepts.Bioresour Technol. 2019 Dec; 293:122029.BT
Nanosecond pulsed electric field treatment (nsPEF) is an innovative, technology-driven, and resource-efficient approach to foster the upstream performance of microalgae-based biorefinery concepts to transform microalgae into economic more viable raw materials for the biobased industry. A processing window applying three treatments of 100 ns, 5 Hz, and 10 kV cm-1 to industrially relevant phototrophic Chlorella vulgaris in the early exponential growth phase significantly increased biomass yields by up to 17.53 ± 10.46% (p = 3.18 × 10-5). Treatments had limited effects on the carbon and pigment contents, but the protein content was decreased. The longest possible pulse width (100 ns) resulted in the highest biomass yield indicating underlying working mechanisms of enhanced cell proliferation based on intracellular and plasma membrane-related effects. The applicability to eukaryotes and prokaryotes, such as C. vulgaris and cyanobacteria highlights the possible impacts of nsPEF across multiple domains of the biobased industry relying on single-cell-based value-chains.