GENIALG partners identify natural process to extract chlorophyll from wild and farmed seaweeds

As part of the GENIALG project, Olmix Group has been involved in a recent scientific study that defines the natural process that successfully extracts chlorophyll from Ulva spp. seaweeds from two different European biomasses. The research was developed in collaboration between GENIALG partners Olmix Group, ALGAplus and University of Aveiro and has been published in Separation and Purification Technology Journal.

Products extracted from natural resources are a growing trend in several fields. This is being further encouraged by growing consumer demand for natural products and for the most natural way by which these natural products are obtained. In this recent study, chlorophyll was extracted from batches of both wild-harvested and farm-raised green seaweed, Ulva spp. also known as sea lettuce from two different European locations, Portugal and France.

The performance of different aqueous solutions of tensioactive compounds such as ionic liquids and common surfactants were studied for the extraction of chlorophyll from the seaweeds with the operational conditions of extraction optimised. The effect of drying the biomass on the yield of extraction of chlorophyll was evaluated as well as the effect of both locations (and the specific conditions of each location in terms of nutrients, water temperature and light intensity) in chlorophyll production.

A tensioactive ionic liquid was selected as the best solvent. This natural extraction process was proven to be the most efficient and least expensive, while also maintaining the stability of the chlorophyll for more than one month.

All GENIALG results and ongoing work will be presented at the GENIALG Final Conference, which will be held online on Monday 30 November 2020. This is a free event and open to all interested participants. Please register here before Sunday 29 November 2020.

Publication Reference: 

Extraction of chlorophyll from wild and farmed Ulva spp. using aqueous solutions of ionic liquids

Martins, M., Fernandes, A., Torres-Acosta, M., Collén, P., Abreu, M. and Ventura, S. (2020). Extraction of chlorophyll from wild and farmed Ulva spp. using aqueous solutions of ionic liquids. Separation and Purification Technology, 254, p.117589. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seppur.2020.117589