Pre- and post-harvest treatment of macroalgae to improve the quality of feedstock for hydrothermal liquefaction

Neveux, N., Yuen, A.K.L., Jazrawi, C., He, Y., Magnusson, M., Haynes, B.S., Masters, A.F., Montoya, A., Paul, N.A., Maschmeyer, T., and de Nys, R. (2014) Pre- and post-harvest treatment of macroalgae to improve the quality of feedstock for hydrothermal liquefaction. Algal Research, 6 (Part A). pp. 22-31.

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Three species of macroalgae were treated with the aim of reducing nitrogen, sulfur and ash within the biomass prior to hydrothermal processing. The treatments were the nutrient starvation of cultures and post-harvest washing of biomass in freshwater. Subsequently, hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of macroalgae was carried out in a batch reactor heated for 8 min with a maximum temperature of 345 °C. Nutrient starvation effectively reduced nitrogen and sulfur levels within the biomass, which led to a reduction in nitrogen by 51–59 wt.% and sulfur by 64–88 wt.% within the biocrude. The yield of biocrude was highest for Derbesia at 38.6–41.7 wt.% and Oedogonium at 35.6–38.8 wt.% when not starved, but was reduced by up to 19 wt.% when the biomass was starved. The washing of biomass consistently reduced the ash content for all species by 7–83 wt.%. The removal of ash affected neither the quality nor the quantity of biocrude produced. The two treatments demonstrate that macroalgal biomass can be effectively manipulated in the production process to modify the composition of the feedstock and, consequently, improve the quality of biocrude. Additionally, reducing the ash content of biomass minimizes its potential impact on HTL processing equipment.

Item ID: 35363
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2211-9264
Keywords: algae, cultivation, nitrogen, hydrothermal liquefaction, biocrude, biofuel
Funders: Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Australian Research Council (ARC), Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF), Advanced Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (AMCRC)
Projects and Grants: ARENA 002369, ARC DP1096802, SIEF RP03-028
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2014 00:36
FoR Codes: 10 TECHNOLOGY > 1002 Environmental Biotechnology > 100203 Bioremediation @ 50%
10 TECHNOLOGY > 1003 Industrial Biotechnology > 100302 Bioprocessing, Bioproduction and Bioproducts @ 50%
SEO Codes: 85 ENERGY > 8505 Renewable Energy > 850501 Biofuel (Biomass) Energy @ 70%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960912 Urban and Industrial Water Management @ 30%
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