Evaluation of green solvents: Oil extraction from oleaginous yeast Lipomyces starkeyi using cyclopentyl methyl ether (CPME)



Cyclopentyl methyl ether (CPME) was evaluated for extracting oil or triacylglycerol (TAG) from wet cells of the oleaginous yeast Lipomyces starkeyi. CPME is a greener alternative to chloroform as a potential solvent for oil recovery. A monophasic system of CPME and biphasic system of CPME:water (1:0.7) performed poorly having the lowest TAG extraction efficiency and TAG selectivity compared to other monophasic systems of hexane and chloroform and the biphasic Bligh and Dyer method (chloroform:methanol:water). Biphasic systems of CPME:water:alcohol (methanol/ethanol/1-propanol) were tested and methanol achieved the best oil extraction efficiency compared to ethanol and 1-propanol. Different biphasic systems of CPME:methanol:water were tested, the best TAG extraction efficiency and TAG selectivity achieved was 9.9 mg/mL and 64.6%, respectively, using a starting ratio of 1:1.7:0.6 and a final ratio of 1:1:0.8 (CPME:methanol:water). Similar results were achieved for the Bligh and Dyer method (TAG extraction efficiency of 10.2 mg/mL and TAG selectivity of 66.0%) indicating that the biphasic CPME system was comparable. The fatty acid profile remained constant across all the solvent systems tested indicating that choice of solvent was not specific for any certain fatty acid. This study was able to demonstrate that CPME could be used as an alternative solvent for the extraction of oil from the wet biomass of oleaginous yeast. © 2017 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 33:1096–1103, 2017