The Ionic Liquid Cholinium Arginate Is an Efficient Solvent for Extracting High-Value Nannochloropsis sp. Lipids

Elvis T. Chua, Manuel Brunner, Rob Atkin, Eladl Eltanahy, Skye R. Thomas-Hall, Peer M. Schenk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Nannochloropsis sp. has been a very attractive microalgae species because of its high omega-3 fatty acid content. However, it is also one of the species with the strongest cell wall. Currently, energy-intensive mechanical techniques and harmful and flammable organic solvents are used for extracting lipids from Nannochloropsis sp. biomass. Thus, in this study, cholinium [Ch] amino acid-based ionic liquids (ILs) were investigated for their capability to extract lipids from Nannochloropsis sp. Among all the ILs tested, cholinium arginate ([Ch][Arg]) extracted the highest amount leaving only 1.4 +/- 0.2% lipid in the remaining biomass. The extraction was still efficient at room temperature leaving only 7.9 +/- 0.3% lipid. Thus, [Ch][Arg] is an efficient green solvent for Nannochloropsis lipid extraction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2538-2544
Number of pages13
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2019

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