“Green” separation processes
Wageningen UR “Food &Biobased Research” made good progress in separating interesting components. Ultrafiltration is an essential unit operation for a microalgal biorefinery, and can be incorporated in the process to obtain a protein-enriched fraction after cell disruption. Hence, significant progress has been achieved in terms of separation efficiency and protein yield obtained during ultrafiltration. Nevertheless, the process requires optimisation in order to improve filtration efficiency and the protein yield obtained in the filtrate.
CSIC has evaluated green sequential pressurised processes for algae biorefinery, and has successfully achieved downstream processing of freeze-dried Isochrysisgalbana starting from non-polar solvents and ending with polar ones.
Currently, CSIC is developing a green platform in the reverse order of polarity. This reverse process offers several advantages regarding energy savings and cost reduction, as the freeze-drying step can be avoided and algae biomass can be directly used after harvesting.
[Green Chemistry, 2015, 17, 4599-4609]