282734 Supercritical Upgrading of Algae Paste

Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 4:15 PM
322 (Convention Center )
Klaus Hellgardt, Christian Richard and Bhavish Patel, Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom

Biodiesel is commonly produced via transesterification of plant derived oils (rape, palm). However, biodiesel produced from algae paste has the potential to be more lucrative due to the intrinsically higher productivity of algae. The current method of only transesterifying extracted algae oil is not particularly economical as it requires water removal, drying and extraction processes prior to transesterification. Thus direct supercritical treatment of wet algal paste is suggested to convert the lipids but also the algal biomass itself into a useful biofuel. Algal biomass might be amenable to this processing technique because algae do not contain lignocellulose and therefore could yield a hydrocarbon fuel with much lower oxygen content. The kinetics of the transformation of algal paste is followed using GC MS, 13C NMR and 1H NMR to observe functional group distribution/concentration within the product mixture. Batch stainless steel and quartz reactors are employed to evaluate the effect of catalyst addition on the rate and selectivity of algae paste conversion. First results of the continuous processing of algae paste in a flow reactor to yield bio-crude will be shown.

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See more of this Session: Catalytic Biofuels Refining II
See more of this Group/Topical: Fuels and Petrochemicals Division