Optimization of pre-treatment process parameters to generate biodiesel from microalga

Chukwuma Onumaegbu, Abed Alaswad, Cristina Rodriguez, Abdul G. Olabi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cell disruption is an integral part of microalga production process, which improves the release of intracellular products that are essential for biofuel production. In this work, pre-treatment parameters that will enhance the efficiency of lipid production using high-pressure homogenizer on microalgae biomass will be investigated. The high-pressure homogenizer that is considered is a GYB40-10S/GY60-6S; with a pre-treatment pressure of 1000 psi, 2000 psi, and 3000 psi, the number of passes; 1, 2, and 3, a reaction time of 3, 3.5, and 4 h. Pressure and cavitation increase the efficiency of the pre-treatment process of the homogenizer. In addition, homogenization shear force and pressure are the basic significant factors that enhance the efficiency of microalgae cell rupture. Also, the use of modelling to simulate pre-treatment processes (Response Surface Methodology (RSM), Box-Behnken Designs (BBD), and design of experiment (DOE) for process optimization will be adopted in this study. The results clearly demonstrate that high-pressure homogenization pre-treatment can effectively disrupt microalga cell walls to enhance lipid recovery efficiency, with a relatively short extraction time, both that are essential for maintaining a good quality of lipids for biofuel production. A maximum of 18% lipid yields were obtained after 3 h of HPH pre-treatment at 3000 psi.

Original languageEnglish
Article number806
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access
article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution
(CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


  • Biodiesel
  • Cell disruption
  • High-pressure homogenizer
  • Lipid extraction
  • Microalga
  • Pre-treatment


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