Purification of polyunsaturated fatty acid esters from tuna oil with supercritical fluid chromatography

Martti Alkio, Christina Conzalez, Matti Jäntti, Olli Aaltonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


The technical and economic feasibility of producing docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)- and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)-ethyl ester concentrates from transesterified tuna oil using supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) was studied. A systematic experimental procedure was used to find the optimal values for process parameters and the maximal production rate. DHA ester concentrates up to 95 wt% purity were obtained in one chromatographic step with SFC, using CO2 as the mobile phase at 65°C and 145 bar and octadecyl silane-type reversed-phase silica as the stationary phase. DHA ester, 0.85 g/(kg stationary phase · h) and 0.23 g EPA ester/(kg stationary phase · h) can be simutaneously produced at the respective purities of 90 and 50 wt%. The process for producing 1,000 kg DHA concentrate and 410 kg EPA concentrate per year requires 160 kg stationary phase and 2.6 tons/h carbon dioxide eluant recycle. The SFC operating cost is U.S. $550/kg DHA and EPA ethyl ester concentrate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-321
JournalJournal of the American Oil Chemists' Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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