Jump to main content
Jump to site search

R-phycoerythrin extraction and purification from fresh Gracilaria sp. using thermo-responsive systems


R-phycoerythrin is a high added-value protein found in red macroalgae with several interesting properties. Despite the promissing results found when R-phycoerythrin is used as an optically active center in luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs), it still has some problems that can be attributed to the low stability of the R-phycoerythrin in presence of the specific contaminant proteins found in the crude extract. The development of downstream strategies able to reduce the use of environmentally hazardous solvents, while improving the purification without compromising the R-phycoerythrin structural integrity is still the biggest challenge to surpass. Aqueous micellar two-phase systems (AMTPS) appear as an appealing fractionation approach since they allow to process systems with larger water contents, while displaying great selectivity and biocompatibility with several biomolecules. Moroever, AMTPS that mix surfactants and surface-active ionic liquids are shown to significantly enhance the proteins purification. In this work, mixed AMTPS were applied to the R-phycoerythrin purification from red macroalgae. After the process optimization, this work proposes the application of two consecutive steps of purification as the final process to isolate R-phycoerythrin from the remaining proteins composing the crude extract, while keeping the R-phycoerythrin structural integrity, as requested to be used in the LSC. Besides a good performance, the two-step approach developed was also shown to have a lower environmental impact with a carbon footprint decrease of 16%, when compared with the conventional AMTPS.

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 10 Jan 2019, accepted on 11 Apr 2019 and first published on 11 Apr 2019

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9GC00104B
Citation: Green Chem., 2019, Accepted Manuscript

  •   Request permissions

    R-phycoerythrin extraction and purification from fresh Gracilaria sp. using thermo-responsive systems

    F. A. Vicente, I. Cardoso, M. Martins, C. Gonçalves, A. Dias, P. Domingues, J. A. P. Coutinho and S. P.M. Ventura, Green Chem., 2019, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C9GC00104B

Search articles by author