Available online 6 March 2021, 124933

Bioresource Technology


Electric field strength (E) and the specific energy input are the decisive factors.

PEF treatment increased the lipid extraction yield by up to 166.67%

An excessively high E decrease the extracted biodiesel’s quality.

The liquid yields and the cell disintegration of Chlorella are controllable.

The leakage of cell contents reveals the mechanism of PEF treatment.


In order to solve the increasingly serious problems of energy and environment, microalgae are used as a raw material for extracting lipids to produce biodiesel. Prior to the extraction of lipids, microalgae were treated with high-voltage pulsed electric field (PEF) to break the cell membrane. It was found that the lipid extraction yield depends on the electric field strength (E) and the specific energy input (Wsp), and has a certain relationship with the cell disintegration rate of Chlorella. As the perforation degree of the Chlorella's cell membrane by PEF treatment is controllable, moderate perforation can be ensured by controlling the power parameters. PEF treatment significantly improved the extraction yield of lipids. Compared with the test samples without PEF treatment, PEF treatment increased the lipid extraction yields by up to 166.67%. However, an excessively high voltage will cause the quality of the extracted biodiesel to decrease.


controllable cell disintegration

lipid extraction

specific energy input

biodiesel quality

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