Energize New Mexico


Bioalgal Energy

Award Number


Document Type



Algae-derived biofuels have attracted significant interest due to the superiorities of not competing with land for food production, abilities to clean contaminated water, higher growth rates, and strong CO2-mitigation abilities. In the last two decades, most researches have focused on hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of whole, wet algal biomass in batch reactors. To develop commercial scale operations, a significant technological shift from batch to continuous reactor systems is inevitable. In this study, char-free biocrude oil production from HTL of wastewater treatment (WWT) microalgae in a pilot-scale continuous flow reactor (CFR) were reported. Results showed the CFR system was able to run an algal slurry with a solid loading of 5 wt.% under 350 °C and 17 MPa for 4 hours without clogging issue. The biocrude oil yield of 28.1 wt.% (daf.) has been reached with HHVs of 38-39 MJ/kg. The chemistry of biocrude oil was analyzed by high-resolution Fourier transform mass spectroscopy (FT-MS), proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H NMR), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), etc. The characterization result showed that the quality of light biocrude oil produced from CFR system was comparable to that from the batch reactor in terms of molecular structures.


Article Location