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Analysis of Solid and Aqueous Phase Products from Hydrothermal Carbonization of Whole and Lipid-Extracted Algae
Desert Research Institute, 2215 Raggio Parkway, Reno, NV 89512, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 October 2013; in revised form: 11 December 2013 / Accepted: 18 December 2013 / Published: 30 December 2013
Abstract: Microalgae have tremendous potential as a feedstock for production of liquid biofuels, particularly biodiesel fuel via transesterification of algal lipids. However, biodiesel production results in significant amounts of algal residues, or “lipid extracted algae” (LEA). Suitable utilization of the LEA residue will improve the economics of algal biodiesel. In the present study, we evaluate the hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) of whole and lipid extracted algal (Spirulina maxima) feedstocks in order to produce a solid biofuel (hydrochar) and value-added co-products in the aqueous phase. HTC experiments were performed using a 2-L Parr reactor (batch type) at 175–215 °C with a 30-min holding time. Solid, aqueous and gaseous products were analyzed using various laboratory methods to evaluate the mass and carbon balances, and investigate the existence of high value chemicals in the aqueous phase. The HTC method is effective in creating an energy dense, solid hydrochar from both whole algae and LEA at lower temperatures as compared to lignocellulosic feedstocks, and is effective at reducing the ash content in the resulting hydrochar. However, under the treatment temperatures investigated, less than 1% of the starting dry algae mass was recovered as an identified high-value chemical in the aqueous phase.
Keywords: hydrothermal carbonization; HTC; algae; lipid extracted algae; LEA; bio-chemicals; ash
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MDPI and ACS Style
Broch, A.; Jena, U.; Hoekman, S.K.; Langford, J. Analysis of Solid and Aqueous Phase Products from Hydrothermal Carbonization of Whole and Lipid-Extracted Algae. Energies 2014, 7, 62-79.
Broch A, Jena U, Hoekman SK, Langford J. Analysis of Solid and Aqueous Phase Products from Hydrothermal Carbonization of Whole and Lipid-Extracted Algae. Energies. 2014; 7(1):62-79.
Broch, Amber; Jena, Umakanta; Hoekman, S. K.; Langford, Joel. 2014. "Analysis of Solid and Aqueous Phase Products from Hydrothermal Carbonization of Whole and Lipid-Extracted Algae." Energies 7, no. 1: 62-79.