Ionic liquids have many applications, one of which entails their utilization as powerful solvents. In the present study, various experimental conditions of ionic liquid-mediated direct transesterification were investigated in terms of lipid-extracting ionic liquids, catalyst, reaction time, reaction temperature and volume of methanol to achieve effective FAME conversion with wet microalgal feedstock, Nannochloropsis oceanica. With ionic liquid, [Bmim][CF3SO3], highest fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) yield was shown. Among many experimental parameters, the two most critical factors to enhance FAME conversion were characteristic of ionic liquids and volume of methanol. Optimized ionic liquid-mediated direct transesterification of wet N. oceanica, compared with a control experiment using chloroform and methanol, increased the FAME conversion yield by 11-fold.