Novel Biorefinery Approach for Phycocyanin Extraction and Purification and Biocrude Production from Arthrospira platensis
A new biorefinery from Arthrospira platensis was proposed to obtain phycocyanin (PC) and a biocrude by hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL). PC is a high-added-value phycobiliprotein widely used as a food colorant and in the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries. However, the use of conventional solvents in the extraction process and the purity grade of the extract are shortcomings in bioproduct production. PC was extracted using a reusable ionic liquid [EMIM][EtSO4], achieving a PC purity of the lowest commercial grade. Therefore, two downstream processes were applied: (1) dialysis + precipitation and (2) aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) + dialysis + precipitation. After the second purification process, the PC purity increased remarkably to reach the analytical grade for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical applications. The waste biomass (WB) obtained in the PC extraction was valorized by hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) to produce a biocrude. The biocrude yield and composition remarkably enhanced using isopropanol at 350 °C as a cosolvent.
The authors acknowledge the support from ALGATEC-CM (S2018/BAA-4532) project, financed by Comunidad de Madrid, and co-financed by the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund and the RENUWAL network (320RT0005) financed by the CYTED Program.
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