From macroalgae to liquid fuel via waste-water remediation, hydrothermal upgrading, carbon dioxide hydrogenation and hydrotreating

Cole, Andrew, Dinburg, Yakov, Haynes, Brian S., He, Yaya, Herskowitz, Moti, Jazrawi, Christopher, Landau, Miron, Liang, Xiao, Magnusson, Marie, Maschmeyer, Thomas, Masters, Anthony F., Meiri, Nora, Neveux, Nicolas, de Nys, Rocky, Paul, Nicholas, Rabaev, Moshe, Vidruk-Nehemya, Roxana, and Yuen, Alexander K.L. (2016) From macroalgae to liquid fuel via waste-water remediation, hydrothermal upgrading, carbon dioxide hydrogenation and hydrotreating. Energy & Environmental Science, 9 (5). pp. 1828-1840.

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This article showcases a proof-of-concept in the production of high quality renewable biofuel from algae. Here, we introduce a path combining a number of approaches that, when integrated as a whole, create a process that takes algae grown in waste-water through to a liquid fuel containing fractions ready for blending with regular gasoline, jet fuel and diesel. With the overarching goal of reducing the nitrogen content invariably associated with whole algal biomass, we apply a number of approaches including (i) nutrient starvation to reduce the internal nitrogen of the freshwater alga Oedogonium (ii) continuous co-solvent (10 wt% n-heptane) hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) to produce a non-polar biocrude containing <1 wt% N; (iii) blending the biocrude with green feed produced from the hydrogenation of CO₂ to obtain <0.5 wt% N; (iv) hydrogenation and hydro-isomerization of the blend in two stages over nanodisperse silica-supported Ni₂P (achieving 630 ppm N) and acidic zeolite-supported Pt catalysts respectively to produce a synthetic paraffinic mixture (SPM) containing 277 ppm N and 0.12% O. With the incorporation of renewable H₂ (which can be from gasification of polar organics produced in the solvent HTL, or other renewable sources) and captured CO₂ the process demonstrates a new and technically cohesive approach to the production of renewable, high-quality biofuels for demanding transport applications.

Item ID: 47959
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1754-5706
Funders: Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF), Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Advanced Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (AMCRC), MBD Energy, Israel - Strategic Alternative Energy Foundation (I-SAEF), Israel Science Foundation (ISF)
Projects and Grants: SIEF RP03-028, ISF grant 152/11, ISF grant 582/13
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2017 02:03
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300501 Aquaculture @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3106 Industrial biotechnology > 310602 Bioprocessing, bioproduction and bioproducts @ 50%
SEO Codes: 85 ENERGY > 8505 Renewable Energy > 850501 Biofuel (Biomass) Energy @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960912 Urban and Industrial Water Management @ 50%
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