Energize New Mexico


Bioalgal Energy

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Bulk property measurement, simulated distillation, gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and ultrahigh resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) are utilized for direct description and comparison of the chemical composition of raw and hydrotreated biocrude samples from pine, microalgae (Chlorella sp.), and sewage sludge. With hydrotreatment, the nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur content as well as viscosity, density and moisture content of all biocrudes decreased to yield a more desirable product. For non-upgraded/raw biocrudes, simulated distillation and GC-MS data reveal that microalgae and sewage sludge biocrudes are comprised of a high proportion of n-alkanes which distill between 260°C and 350°C whereas the pine biocrude has a lower concentration of n-alkanes and is more compositionally diverse. For those same raw biocrudes, FT-ICR MS analysis shows predominantly Ox species whereas raw microalgae and sewage sludge biocrudes are comprised of primarily NxOy species. After hydrotreatment, FT-ICR mass spectra of all three biocrudes revealed a significant reduction in mass spectral complexity (observed as the loss of Ox, Nx, and NxOy species) and the formation of hydrocarbon compounds, as expected. The hydrodeoxygenation and hydrodenitrogenation reactions of hydrotreatment convert higher (>2) heteroatom-containing species to a variety of hydrocarbon and lower heteroatom-containing species.


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