Ultrasound for microalgal cell disruption and product extraction: A review
[Review of ]. ULTRASONICS SONOCHEMISTRY, 87.
Microalgae are a promising feedstock for the production of biofuels, nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, due to their superior capability of converting solar energy and CO2 into lipids, proteins, and other valuable bioactive compounds. To facilitate the release of these important biomolecules from microalgae, effective cell disruption is usually necessary, where the use of ultrasound has gained tremendous interests as an alternative to traditional methods. This review not only summarizes the mechanisms of and operation parameters affecting cell disruption, but also takes an insight into measuring techniques, synergistic integration with other disruption methods, and challenges of ultrasonication for microalgal biorefining. Optimal conditions including ultrasonic frequency, intensity, and duration, and liquid viscosity and sonochemical reactor are the key factors for maximizing the disruption and extraction efficiency. A combination of ultrasound with other disruption methods such as ozonation, microwave, homogenization, enzymatic lysis, and solvents facilitates cell disruption and release of target compounds, thus provides powerful solutions to commercial scale-up of ultrasound extraction for microalgal biorefining. It is concluded that ultrasonication is a sustainable "green" process, but more research and work are needed to upscale this process without sacrificing performance or consuming more energy.