Chlorophyll Extraction from Algae

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Chlorophyll extraction from seaweed, algaABC Machinery focuses on natural color and pigment extraction equipment and technology for many years. We have developed the most advanced technology to extract pigments from various plants without destroying its natural components. So, the pigment extracted by our technology has very wide application in food & beverage, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals industries.

Reasons to Extract Chlorophyll from Algae

Chlorophyll is a natural green pigment that is widely used to color products in food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals industries. In nature, chlorophyll content in terrestrial plant is about 0.3% ~ 0.5%. While, chlorophyll content in algae is much higher. For instance, chlorophyll content in spirulina is up to 1% ~ 2%. This is because accessible light energy within sea water is less than that of lands. In order to get enough energy, marine plants must add the chlorophyll content in photosynthesis. This is why chlorophyll content in algae is higher than that of terrestrial plants. so, it is the best raw material to extract chlorophyll.

Best Method for Chlorophyll Extraction from Algae

In today’s market, most of chlorophyll is obtained from terrestrial plants. At the same time, traditional methods that used for chlorophyll production have some downsides, such as poor quality, low purity, bad small, solvent residue and more. In the 1990s, Low Temperature Sub-critical Biological Extraction Technology was invented in China. With years of development, this patented technology is the best method for chlorophyll extraction from algae So, why is suitable for chlorophy extraction and what's its features?

Chlorophyll extraction machine for getting chlorophyllin
Small Chlorophyll Extraction Machine

Comparison between Sub-critical and Super-critical for Chlorophyll

The critical temperature and critical pressure for solvent (R134a) that used for chlorophyll extraction is 101.1 ℃ and is 4.067 MPa, which is far below the solvent CO2 of super-critical extraction for chlorophyll. And, the ideal extraction results for CO2 super-critical extraction should be between 30~50 MPa. But, sub-critical extraction can achieve ideal extraction efficiency under normal pressure, which greatly lower the requirements for extraction machines and has superior advantages to extract active ingredients that is no resistance to high pressure.

Technical Principle of Chlorophyll Extraction

The main solvent that used to extract chlorophyll from algae is R134a. R134a is a widely used cryogenic refrigerant that doesn’t contain chlorine atoms and can’t destroy ozone layer. It has good safety performance and chemical stability - non-flammable, non-explosive, non-toxic, non-irritating, non-corrosive.

Under certain pressure, use liquefied sub-critical solvent (R134a) to process the raw material (algae). And, this stage is counter-current extraction. Solvent within extract liquor is gasifying through evaporation process and separated from target product (chlorophyll). Extracted material can produce another product after solvent that absorbed in the material is evaporated through evaporation process. Gasified solvent is recycling after liquefaction. The whole process is under normal or low temperature and pressure, so it doesn’t cause any damages for the thermosensitive components, which is the greatest advantage to extract chlorophyll from algae.

chlorophyll extraction process low temperature
Flow Chart of Chlorophyll Extraction

Influencing factors of sub-critical extraction for chlorophyll from algae (R134a)

  •   Raw Material Granularity

Precisely control the raw material granularity can expand the contact surface between raw material and solvent R134a to increase the extraction efficiency significantly.

  •   Extraction Pressure

Chlorophyll extraction is completed under normal pressure, so it doesn’t cause any pressure for the extraction equipment and can ensure high extraction capacity.

  •   Extraction Temperature

Low temperature extraction for chlorophyll can better protect its natural components and greatly improve the quality of chlorophyll.

In conclusion, extract chlorophyll from algea with our sub-critical solvent extraction equipment is ideal and can ensure high quality final product while lowering the investment cost. You are welcomed to inquiry us if you have any questions about the extraction process or extraction equipment.

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