Direct lipid extraction from wet Chlamydomonas reinhardtii biomass using osmotic shock

Gursong Yoo, Won Kun Park, Chul Woong Kim, Yoon E. Choi, Ji Won Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Citations (Scopus)


High-cost downstream process is a major bottleneck for producing microalgal biodiesel at reasonable price. Conventional lipid extraction process necessitates biomass drying process, which requires substantial amount of energy. In this regard, lipid extraction from wet biomass must be an attractive solution. However, it is almost impossible to recover lipid directly from wet microalgae with current technology. In this study, we conceived osmotic shock treatment as a novel method to extract lipid efficiently. Osmotic shock treatment was applied directly to wet Chlamydomonas reinhardtii biomass with water content >99%, along with both polar and non-polar organic solvents. Our results demonstrated that osmotic shock could increase lipid recovery approximately 2 times. We also investigated whether the presence of cell wall or different cell stages could have any impact on lipid recovery. Cell wall-less mutant stains and senescent cell phase could display significantly increased lipid recovery. Taken together, our results suggested that osmotic shock is a promising technique for wet lipid extraction from microalgal biomass and successfully determined that specific manipulation of biomass in certain cell phase could enhance lipid recovery further.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)717-722
Number of pages6
JournalBioresource technology
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Nov
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Advanced Biomass R&D Center(ABC) of Korea Grant funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (ABC-2011-K000908).


  • Biodiesel
  • Cell disruption
  • Microalgae
  • Osmotic shock
  • Wet lipid extraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


Dive into the research topics of 'Direct lipid extraction from wet Chlamydomonas reinhardtii biomass using osmotic shock'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this