Hydrothermal liquefaction is a promising technology biofuel production from high-moisture biomass processed in wastewater treatment facilities. This study explores the conversion of primary sludge, swine manure, and algal feedstocks representative of municipal, agricultural, and next-generation wastewater biomass resources. Hydrothermal process conditions were varied to determine the dependence of biocrude oil yield and chemical composition on operating temperature (260-300°C) and feedstock selection. Advanced chemical characterization techniques were used to analyze the resulting biocrude oil and included high temperature simulated distillation (HT-SimDist), Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), 1H- and 13C-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS), and gel permeation chromatography (GPC). The biocrude oil yield, bulk properties (e.g., elemental analysis, heating value) and physico-chemical characteristics (e.g., boiling point distribution, molecular weight distribution, functional group allocation, molecular constituents) were highly dependent on feedstock selection and highlight the promise of microalgae as a feedstock for wastewater remediation and bioenergy production.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)