Physical pretreatments of wastewater algae to reduce ash content and improve thermal decomposition characteristics

Wan Ting Chen, Junchao Ma, Yuanhui Zhang, Chao Gai, Wanyi Qian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Previous study showed high ash content in wastewater algae (WA) has a negative effect on bio-crude oil formation in hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL). This study explored the effect of different pretreatments on ash reduction and the thermal decomposition of WA. Single-stage (e.g. centrifugation) and two-stage pretreatments (e.g. centrifugation followed by ultrasonication, C+U) were used. The apparent activation energy of the thermal decomposition (Ea) of pretreated algae was determined. HTL was conducted to study how different pretreatments may impact on bio-crude oil formation. Compared to untreated samples, the ash content of algae with centrifugation was reduced from 28.6% to 18.6%. With C+U pretreatments, Ea was decreased from 50.2kJ/mol to 35.9kJ/mol and the bio-crude oil yield was increased from 30% to 55%. These results demonstrate that pretreatments of C+U can improve the thermal decomposition behavior of WA and enhance the bio-crude oil conversion efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)816-820
Number of pages5
JournalBioresource Technology
Volume169
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2014

Keywords

  • Activation energy
  • Algae
  • Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL)
  • Physical pretreatment
  • Wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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