480729 Optimized Hydrothermal Liquefaction for High- and Low-Lipid Algae

Monday, November 14, 2016
Grand Ballroom B (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Graham Hoffman1, Catherine E. Brewer1, Feng Cheng2, Zheng Cui1, Travis Le-Doux2, Jacqueline M. Jarvis3, Kwonit Mallick4, Neil Paz3, Tanner Schaub5 and Nagamany Nirmalakhandan6, (1)Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, (2)Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering, New Mexico State University, (3)Chemical Analysis and Instrumentation Laboratory, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Science, New Mexico State University, (4)Civil & Environmental Engineering, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, (5)College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, (6)Civil and Environmental Engineering, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM

Optimized Hydrothermal Liquefaction for High- and Low-Lipid Algae

Feng Cheng, Zheng Cui, Travis Le-Doux, Kwonit Mallick, Graham Hoffman, Jacqueline Jarvis, Neil Paz, Tanner Schaub, Nagamany Nirmalakhandan, Catherine E. Brewer*

Abstract

Third-generation biofuels produced from hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of algae have been developing rapidly. Some advantages of algae-derived oils via hydrothermal liquefaction are attributed to high algae growth rates, strong CO2-mitigation potential, and avoidance of feedstock drying requirements. In HTL, subcritical water (270-370°C and 60-210bar) depolymerizes lipids, proteins and carbohydrates in algae, leading to high yield of bio-crude oil, which can be upgraded to transportation fuels. In this study, we delineate biocrude composition as influenced by operating condition change for temperatures of 310-350°C, residence time of 5-60min, and solid algae content of 5-10wt.%) for both the high-lipid microalgae Nannochloropsis salina and the low-lipid microalgae Galdieria sulphuraria. The bio-crudes are characterized by Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectroscopy (FT-ICR MS), fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) analysis by gas chromatography mass spectroscopy (GC/MS), oxy-combustion calorimetry, and elemental analysis (CHNS). These results are used to optimize species-specific operating conditions for a 1.8 L batch reactor and to predict optimized conditions for new algae strains based on their feedstock compositions and knowledge of compound degradation pathways. In addition, bio-crude oil characterization results will be used to select initial conditions for a pilot-scale continuous flow HTL reactor, designed to produce char-free biocrude oil from low-solid-content feedstock without centrifugation.


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