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Title: Rapid Analysis of Microalgal Triacylglycerols with Direct-Infusion Mass Spectrometry

Cultivation of microalgae has the potential to provide lipid-derived feedstocks for conversion to liquid transportation fuels. Lipid extracts from microalgae are significantly more complex than those of traditional seed oils, and their composition changes significantly throughout the microalgal growth period. With three acyl side chains per molecule, triglycerides (TAGs) are an important fuel precursor, and the distribution of acyl chain composition for TAGs has a significant impact on fuel properties and processing. Therefore, determination of the distribution of microalgal TAG production is needed to assess the value of algal extracts designed for fuel production and to optimize strain, cultivation, and harvesting practices. Methods utilized for TAG speciation commonly involve complicated and time-consuming chromatographic techniques. Here we present a method for TAG speciation and quantification based on direct-infusion mass spectrometry, which provides rapid characterization of TAG profiles without chromatographic separation. Specifically, we utilize Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) to provide a reference library of TAGs for the microalgae Nannochloropsis sp. that provides the basis for high-throughput TAG quantitation by time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOF MS). In conclusion, we demonstrate the application of this novel approach for lipid characterization with respect to TAG compound distribution, which informs both immediatemore » and future strain and process optimization strategies.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. New Mexico State Univ., Las Cruces, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0887-0624
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energy and Fuels
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 29; Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 0887-0624
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Bioenergy Technologies Office (EE-3B)
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS; algae; mass spectrometry; triglycerides; biodiesel; renewable diesel
OSTI Identifier: