Current application of electrical pre-treatment for enhanced microalgal biomolecules extraction

Abdul Azim bin Azmi, Revathy Sankaran, Pau Loke Show, Tau Chuan Ling, Yang Tao, Heli Siti Halimatul Munawaroh, Pei San Kong, Duu Jong Lee, Jo Shu Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Pretreatment of microalgal biomass possessing rigid cell wall is a critical step for enhancing the efficiency of microalgal biorefinery. However, the conventional pretreatment processes suffer the drawbacks of complex processing steps, long processing time, low conversion efficiency and high processing costs. This significantly hinders the industrial applicability of microalgal biorefinery. The innovative electricity-aid pretreatment techniques serve as a promising processing tool to extensively enhance the release of intracellular substances from microalgae. In this review, application of electric field-based techniques and recent advances of using electrical pretreatments on microalgae cell focusing on pulsed electric field, electrolysis, high voltage electrical discharges and moderate electric field are reviewed. In addition, the emerging techniques integrating electrolysis with liquid biphasic flotation process as promising downstream approach is discussed. This review delivers broad knowledge of the present significance of the application of these methods focusing on the development of electric assisted biomolecules extraction from microalgae.

Original languageBritish English
Article number122874
JournalBioresource Technology
StatePublished - Apr 2020


  • Electric-field
  • Liquid biphasic flotation
  • Microalgae
  • Pretreatment
  • Proteins


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