Hydrogen production from the catalytic supercritical water gasification of process water generated from hydrothermal liquefaction of microalgae

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  • Ramzi Cherad, Leeds University
  • ,
  • J. A. Onwudili, Leeds University
  • ,
  • P. Biller
  • P. T. Williams, Leeds University
  • ,
  • A. B. Ross, Leeds University

The integration of hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) and hydrothermal gasification (HTG) is an option for enhanced energy recovery and potential biocrude upgrading. The yields and product distribution obtained from the HTL of Chlorella vulgaris have been investigated. High conversion of algae to biocrude as well as near complete gasification of the remaining organic components in the aqueous phase was achieved. The aqueous phase from HTL was upgraded through catalytic HTG under supercritical water conditions to maximise hydrogen production for biocrude hydrotreating. High yields of hydrogen were produced (∼30 mol H2/kg algae) with near complete gasification of the organics (∼98%). The amount of hydrogen produced was compared to the amounts needed for complete hydrotreating of the biocrude. A maximum of 0.29 g H2 was produced through HTG per gram of biocrude produced by HTL. The nutrient content of the aqueous phase was analysed to determine suitability of nutrient recovery for algal growth. The results indicate the successful integration of HTL and HTG to produce excess hydrogen and maintain nutrient recovery for algal growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-28
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2016

    Research areas

  • Hydrogen, Hydrothermal liquefaction, Microalgae, Supercritical water gasification, Upgrading

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