High-Resolution Lipidomics Reveals Influence of Biomass and Pretreatment Process on the Composition of Extracted Algae Oils As Feedstock for Sustainable Aviation Fuels

Steven M. Rowland, Stefanie Van Wychen, Tao Dong, Roger Leach, and Lieve M. L. Laurens
Energy & Fuels  •  Volume 38 (2024)  •  pp. 6547–6552   FEATURED BOOK
The increasing demand for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) creates a need for innovative biomass and lipid sources with compositions that are compatible with refineries. Algae-derived oils present an opportunity to supply a process-compatible lipid feedstock at yields higher than those of conventional oilseed crops. With few documented reports on chemical composition, the process readiness remains elusive. We present data on extraction efficiency, yield, and purity of lipids from algae with and without the application of a low-concentration sulfuric acid pretreatment of the biomass. The pretreatment process increased the oil yield and positively impacted the quality of the extracted oils. Results from fatty acid and lipidomics analysis revealed that the low-lipid biomass sources extracted 70–80% of the available lipids, and the non-fatty acid co-extractants exceeded 40% of the extracted oils. For a high-lipid algae sample, derived from a genetically engineered strain, we show >90% extraction yield with >85% FAME purity. This work provides insights into the composition of algae-derived oils and quality metrics that are essential to determining the viability of lipid hydroprocessing to SAF.
Biomass,Extraction,Lipids,Pretreatment,Quality management
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