(1) Background: The extraction of fatty acids from microalgae and cyanobacteria is mostly performed with organic solvents and laborious procedures. Microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) can be a more effective and environmentally friendly process than traditional extraction (TE), which uses a large volume of solvent and conduction heating. Freshwater phytoplankton inhabits diverse aquatic environments and is a promising source of fatty acids and green precursors in the synthesis of biofuel, including cyanobacterial biomass. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the potential of MAE to extract fatty acids from a Chlorella sp. microalga and two cyanobacteria, namely, Arthrospira sp. and Sphaerospermopsis torques-reginae, for biodiesel production. For this purpose, the lipid content and fatty acid profile of these strains were compared after treating biomass with the two extraction methods. (2) Methods: MAE and TE were used as extraction procedures; gas chromatography–mass spectrometry was used to assess the fatty acid profiles, and X-ray spectroscopy was used to analyze biomass. (3) Results: Although the fatty acid profile of the oil obtained by TE showed higher concentrations of fatty acids, the MAE method was able to extract more types of fatty acids. The variety of fatty acids extracted by the MAE, especially those with unsaturated chains, allowed for better quality biodiesel, presenting advantages over previous methods and studies. According to the analyses, essential fatty acids 16:0, 16:1, and 18:2 were found to be abundant in both cyanobacterial strains and in microalga, showing potential for biofuel production. Additionally, metal composition was determined as its content may indicate potential pro-oxidant influence in biofuel production. (4) Conclusions: MAE is a useful and green strategy to extract fatty acids from freshwater phytoplankton. Cyanobacteria can also be a beneficial source of fatty acids for biodiesel synthesis.

Microwave-Assisted Extraction of Fatty Acids from Cultured and Commercial Phytoplankton Species

Converti, Attilio;
2022-01-01

Abstract

(1) Background: The extraction of fatty acids from microalgae and cyanobacteria is mostly performed with organic solvents and laborious procedures. Microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) can be a more effective and environmentally friendly process than traditional extraction (TE), which uses a large volume of solvent and conduction heating. Freshwater phytoplankton inhabits diverse aquatic environments and is a promising source of fatty acids and green precursors in the synthesis of biofuel, including cyanobacterial biomass. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the potential of MAE to extract fatty acids from a Chlorella sp. microalga and two cyanobacteria, namely, Arthrospira sp. and Sphaerospermopsis torques-reginae, for biodiesel production. For this purpose, the lipid content and fatty acid profile of these strains were compared after treating biomass with the two extraction methods. (2) Methods: MAE and TE were used as extraction procedures; gas chromatography–mass spectrometry was used to assess the fatty acid profiles, and X-ray spectroscopy was used to analyze biomass. (3) Results: Although the fatty acid profile of the oil obtained by TE showed higher concentrations of fatty acids, the MAE method was able to extract more types of fatty acids. The variety of fatty acids extracted by the MAE, especially those with unsaturated chains, allowed for better quality biodiesel, presenting advantages over previous methods and studies. According to the analyses, essential fatty acids 16:0, 16:1, and 18:2 were found to be abundant in both cyanobacterial strains and in microalga, showing potential for biofuel production. Additionally, metal composition was determined as its content may indicate potential pro-oxidant influence in biofuel production. (4) Conclusions: MAE is a useful and green strategy to extract fatty acids from freshwater phytoplankton. Cyanobacteria can also be a beneficial source of fatty acids for biodiesel synthesis.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1071484
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