Performance of bleaching clays in dechlorophyllisation of microalgal oil: A comparative study

Doris Ying Ying Tang, Kit Wayne Chew, Francesco G. Gentili, Tonni Agustiono Kurniawan, Young Kwon Park, Heli Siti Halimatul Munawaroh, Saravanan Rajendran, Zengling Ma, Sarah Alharthi, Walaa F. Alsanie, Pau Loke Show

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


While clay has been extensively studied for its ability to remove chlorophyll from vegetable oil, its effects and suitability on microalgae oil have received far less attention. In this study, three different clay types are evaluated and compared for their ability to dechlorophyllise microalgae oil. The clays involved are kaolinite, Fuller's earth and bentonite clay which are activated by acid treatment. Bentonite clay is found to remove chlorophyll effectively (76.04%) than kaolinite and Fuller's earth due to the presence of porous materials that facilitate adsorption. Additionally, the conditions of high temperature (79.69%) and ultrasound treatment (84.24%) demonstrate satisfactory chlorophyll removal efficiency. Another promising finding is that chlorophyll can be adsorbed on the clays without affecting the lipid composition in the microalgae extract significantly. Spent bleaching clay disposal is a growing issue that poses an environmental burden. Reusing bleaching clay can lower expenses and increase oil recovery. In a single sequential run, using spent bentonite clay yields the outcomes comparable to those of virgin bentonite clay. This finding offers a useful green and environmentally friendly approach to remove chlorophyll from microalgae oil feedstock.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-101
Number of pages8
JournalProcess Biochemistry
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Adsorption
  • Bentonite
  • Decolourization
  • Regeneration
  • Spent bleaching clay


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