Cell physiology and rupture

Recovering lipids and proteins from microalgal biomass requires the microscopic cells to be ruptured (Yap et al. 2014). This group has shown that by processing pre-concentrated biomass, this can be done in an energy efficient manner at large scale using high pressure homogenisation (Yap et al. 2015). We have also shown that efficient processing of microalgal biomass is highly dependent on the species of microalgae (Spiden et al. 2013). We have also found that the growth conditions alter physical attributes of the microalgal cells relevant to cell rupture, such as cell size and cell wall thickness and strength (Yap et al. 2016). We are currently investigating the effects of growth conditions on the physiology of algae in relation to harvesting and dewatering.


B.H.J. Yap, S.A. Crawford, R.R. Dagastine, P.J. Scales, G.J.O. Martin, Nitrogen deprivation of microalgae: effect on cell size, cell wall thickness, cell strength, and resistance to mechanical rupture, Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, 43 (2016) 1671–1680.

B.H.J. Yap, G.J. Dumsday, P.J. Scales, G.J.O. Martin, Energy evaluation of algal cell disruption by high pressure homogenization, Bioresource Technology, 184 (2015) 280–285.

B.H.J. Yap, S.A. Crawford, G.J. Dumsday, P.J. Scales, G.J.O. Martin, A mechanistic study of algal cell disruption and its effect on lipid recovery by solvent extraction, Algal Research, 5 (2014) 112-120.

E.M. Spiden, B.H.J. Yap, D.R.A. Hill, S.E. Kentish, P.J. Scales, G.J.O. Martin, Quantitative evaluation of the ease of rupture of industrially promising microalgae by high pressure homogenization, Bioresource Technology, 140 (2013) 165–171.