The sonication effect is very much dependent on the energy and duration of sonication treatment as well as on the type of algae treated.

Optimization of the ultrasonic treatment should be considered to maximize both the energy and the time of treatment for cell disruption as shown by Gerde et al. (2012). In that study it was found that for the seawater heterotrophic species Schizochytrium limacinum, an energy input of 800 J/10 mL (regardless of cell concentration) achieved optimal lipid extraction. Higher energy levels did not improve lipid yield even though greater cell disruption was observed under microscope.