Bioresource Technology, Vol.258, 158-167, 2018
Hydrothermal liquefaction of high- and low-lipid algae: Mass and energy balances
Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of high-lipid microalgae Nannochloropsis salina (N. salina) and low-lipid microalgae Galdieria sulphuraria (G. sulphuraria) were run under subcritical conditions (310-350 degrees C and 10-17 MPa) in a 1.8 L batch autoclave system. HTL mass and energy balances for both species were compared under different operating conditions to predict the optimum reaction conditions for new algae strains based on their feedstock composition. Bio-crude oils and chars were characterized by bomb calorimetry, elemental analysis, inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Under the optimized conditions, 59 wt% and 31 wt% bio-crude oil yields were obtained from HTL of N. salina and G. sulphuraria, while 85% and 59% of the feedstock energy were partitioned into N. salina-derived and G. sulphuraria-derived bio-crude oils, respectively. More favorable energy balances were related to shorter reaction times and higher algal solid contents.