Nanoparticles of Pd supported on bacterial biomass for hydroprocessing crude bio-oil

Bidhya Kunwar, Sam Derakhshan Deilami, Lynne E. Macaskie, Joseph Wood, Patrick Biller, Brajendra K. Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A process of much future-potential for upgrading of biofuels derived from hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) is catalytic hydrotreatment. HTL bio-oil, manufactured from Chlorella microalgae in a reactor operating in continuous flow mode was processed via hydrotreatment using a bio-Pd/C catalyst. This catalyst comprises a bacterial biomass support decorated with Pd(0) nanoparticles. The hydrotreatment performance of commercial Pd/C catalyst and bio-Pd/C was compared in order to benchmark the latter catalyst preparation. Oil:catalyst ratio, time and temperature were investigated as three variables for optimization. Similar conversion was observed for both Pd/C (76% liquid yield, 4.2% O) and bio-Pd/C (77% liquid yield, 3.9% O) catalysts under equivalent conditions (4 h reaction time, 5 wt% Pd loading, 325 °C). The oxygen content was reduced by 65%, whilst the nitrogen content decreased by 35%, with a bio-oil:catalyst ratio of 20, at a temperature of 325 °C and reaction time of 4 h. The upgraded oil was further studied by elemental analysis, Simulated Distillation and GC–MS, in order to quantify the improvement in fuel properties. The fresh and spent catalysts were analyzed using elemental analysis, TGA and ICP-MS, showing that the bio-oil yield was augmented by conversion of the biomass component from bio-Pd/C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-456
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2017


  • Bio-Pd/C
  • Bio-oil
  • Hydrothermal liquefaction
  • Nanoparticles
  • Upgrading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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