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Bio-Crude Oil Production from Microalgae through Hydrothermal Process

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Bioenergy Engineering, 11-14 October 2009, Bellevue, Washington  BIO-097898.(doi:10.13031/2013.28862)
Authors:   Guo Yu, Yuanhui Zhang, Lance Schideman, Ted Funk, Zhichao Wang
Keywords:   Microalgae, hydrothermal process, renewable energy, biofuel

Microalgae have become a focal point in the biofuel research because their fast growth rates and the capability of fixation of CO2 through photosynthesis from the atmosphere. Microalgal Chlorella pyrenoidosa powder with moisture content of 80% was converted directly into Bio-Crude oil through a hydrothermal process. The products consisted of a gas product, aqueous phase product and raw oil product. The toluene-soluble fraction of the raw oil product was defined as the refined oil in this study. The effects of the experimental parameters (initial pressure, reaction temperature and reaction time) on the product yields were investigated for optimizing experimental conditions. The yield of the refined oil was about 35% (dry mass). The refined oil yield was higher with the increase of reaction temperature and reaction time. The initial pressure provided by nitrogen seemed to have no effect on oil yields.

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