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Table 2 Overview of important extraction methods and their efficiency for lipid recovery

From: Lipids detection and quantification in oleaginous microorganisms: an overview of the current state of the art

Method Efficiency Cost Energy demands Industrial perspective References
Conventional solvents such as chloroform/methanol, hexane, or ether Depends on the species of microorganism, pretreatment of biomass, moisture content, type of solvent, solvent: biomass ratio, treatment time, etc. Mainly the cost of solvents and reactors, possible reuse of solvents, energy-intensive process Drying of cellular biomass, heating of solvent, distillation of solvent There are reports at a larger scale [46]
Super critical CO2 Varies with flow rate of CO2, pressure, and exposure time Mainly the cost of equipment and its maintenance Distillation/heating of solvents if paired with co-solvent, maintaining high-pressure conditions No report at an industrial scale [47,48,49,50,51]
Liquid CO2 Requires cell disruption to achieve better yield, usually lipid yield is low Maintenance of high-pressure conditions (15 MPa), cell disruption Distillation/heating of solvents if paired with co-solvent No reports at a larger scale [52, 53]
Microwave-assisted lipid extraction Simple, rapid process, effective for robust species, easy to scale up; does not require dewatering of microorganisms; highly efficient at lab scale Low operating costs but high maintenance costs of equipment High energy consumption, recovery of thermolabile compounds may require cooling No reports at a larger scale [10, 46, 48, 54,55,56]
Ultrasonication-assisted lipid extraction Short extraction time, simple to operate, highly reproducible results, energy-effective in small volume, cell wall hinders lipid recovery Mainly cost of equipment Large volume of sample, requires high energy Not suitable for large-scale [46, 56,57,58,59,60,61,62,63]