Direct acid methylation for extraction of fatty acid content from microalgae cells

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Direct acid methylation was examined as a means for both analysis of fatty acid content in microalgal cells and biodiesel production without pretreatment. Microalgal cells of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Dunaliella tertiolecta were prepared and examined. It appeared that direct acid methylation extracted higher fatty acid content than the solvent-based Soxhlet extraction process. It also revealed that the latter was prone to extract a significant amount of nonlipid hydrophobic impurities, including hydrophobic proteins and phytol-type compounds, while direct methylation produces essentially pure ester product. This work demonstrates that direct acid methylation provides superior fatty acid extraction, promising an efficient process for either quantification of lipid content or production of biodiesel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1581-1586
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Acid methylation
  • Algae biofuel
  • Biodiesel
  • Fatty acid analysis
  • Lipid content
  • Lipid extraction

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