01/2016, Finished R&D Projects

Investigations on the holistic recovery of valuable materials from microalgae

  • funding program: F&E-Richtlinie des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt
  • term: 23.11.2015 – 28.02.2019

Initial position:

Microalgae provide incredible potential is as a renewable resource. The products that are obtained to date from microalgae are mainly to settle in the high value range, such as cosmetics, fine chemicals such as colorant, antioxidants and dietary supplements.
The research projects tend to focus on individual key components and their technically optimized recovery and do not use the full potential of microalgae. In the production of algal extracts for example, most of the proteins are seen as a by-product along with other solid components without quality use.


The aim of the project is therefore to characterize the functional properties of the proteins present in various commercially relevant microalgae species and to develop technologies for their isolation. The functional proteins shall be recovered as co-products of the oil or other resource recovery (in the sense of a biorefinery). They can be used in the food, cosmetic and technical fields. The additional algae product would increase the value of microalgae processing.

After the optimization of the processes there will be a transition to the small pilot scale. These results will be interesting for the industry.

There are annual events scheduled to present those research results. All interested companies are invited to developing partnerships for pilot applications and testing the results.

The first event will take place end of 2016. Further details will follow in autumn.


If you are interested, please contact:

Dr. Halime Idakiev

PPM – Pilot Pflanzenöltechnologie Magdeburg e.V.

Berliner Chaussee 66

39114 Magdeburg


Phone:       +49-391-81 89 157

Fax:            +49-391-81 89 180

E-Mail:       idakiev@ppm-magdeburg.de



The different microalgae (Nannochloropsis oculata, Arthrospira platensis, Porphyridium purpureum, Phaeodactylum tricorneum, Haematococcus pluvialis) require different disruption methods due to their individual structure. The dye-containing microalgae can be easily disrupted and here the separation of the ingredients is more a challenge. For the oil-containing microalgae, the oil extraction is the first step, followed by a cell disruption and the recovery of the other ingredients like proteins.

Adequate drying is required for good processing, here freeze or spray drying are suitable. For cell disruption, high-pressure homogenization, ultrasound and vibration mill were used. While the high-pressure homogenizer produced the highest protein yields for Haematococcus, the vibratory mill was more suitable for Nannochloropsis and Phaedactylum.

Porphyridium showed excellent foam and emulsion stabilities.




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