Hydrothermal catalytic processing of pretreated algal oil: A catalyst screening study

Xiujun Bai, Peigao Duan, Yuping Xu, Aiyun Zhang, Phillip E. Savage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

81 Scopus citations

Abstract

We herein report on the catalytic processing of pretreated algal oil that was produced from the hydrothermal liquefaction of Chlorella pyrenoidosa. The activities of 5% Pt/C, 5% Pd/C, 5% Ru/C, 5% Pt/C (sulfided), Mo2C, MoS2, alumina, CoMo/γ-Al2O3 (sulfided), Ni/SiO2-Al2O3, HZSM-5, activated carbon, and Raney-Ni for hydrothermal hydrodeoxygenation and hydrodenitrogenation of the pretreated algal oil at 400 C were determined. Ru/C showed the best performance for deoxygenation and Raney-Ni was the most suitable catalyst for denitrogenation. The upgraded oil from the Ru/C catalyzed reaction contained the highest hydrocarbon content, the highest fraction of material boiling below 400 C, and the highest higher heating value (45.1 MJ/kg). All of the metal catalysts produced freely flowing upgraded oil. The combination of Ru/C and Raney Ni, which showed very good deoxygenation and denitrogenation of the oil, produced upgraded oil that retained 86% of the heating value in the original pretreated oil. This upgraded oil was also produced in a higher yield (77.2 wt.%) and with lower gas (9.4 wt.%), coke (15.6 wt.%) and water-soluble products yields (2.1 wt.%) than from either catalyst alone. These results indicate that a two-step biocrude treatment strategy (noncatalytic treatment followed by catalytic upgrading) and a two-component catalyst bed in the second step represents an intriguing option for the hydrothermal catalytic upgrading of algal biocrude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-149
Number of pages9
JournalFuel
Volume120
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 15 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry

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