Elucidation of Sodium Hydroxide Catalyst and Solids Loading for Thermochemical Liquefaction of Tetraselmis sp. Microalga
The production of biocrude with and without sodium hydroxide catalyst (Na2CO3) through hydrothermal liquefaction of Tetraselmis sp. microalga at different organic solids loading was investigated. The HTL experimental study was conducted at reaction temperatures of 310oC, 330oC, 350oC and 370oC at 5 min fixed reaction time with organic solids loading of 10%w/w, 15%w/w, 20%w/w, 25%w/w, 30%w/w, and at 40%w/w. The results of the study showed that organic solids loading above 20%w/w had no substantial changes on biocrude yield. The catalyst had very little effect on the yield of biocrude but substantially enhanced its quality when compared with non-catalysed reactions. Although, Na2CO3 catalyst may be used for HTL of Tetraselmi sp. in laboratory-scale studies, it is highly unnecessary for commercial-scale. Thus potentially reducing the production cost in future commercialization of HTL-alga-biorefinery.
Keywords: Biocrude, Na2CO3 catalyst, hydrothermal liquefaction, Microalga, organic solids loading
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