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Design and operation of an inexpensive, laboratory-scale, continuous hydrothermal liquefaction reactor for the conversion of microalgae produced during wastewater treatment

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posted on 22.07.2019, 11:04 authored by Jonathan L. Wagner, Chien D. Le, Valeska P. Ting, Christopher J. Chuck
Recently, much research has been published on the hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of microalgae to form bio-crude, which can be further upgraded into sustainable 3rd generation biofuels. However, most of these studies have been conducted in batch reactors, which are not fully applicable to large-scale industrial production. In this investigation an inexpensive laboratory scale continuous flow system was designed and tested for the liquefaction of microalgae produced during wastewater treatment. The system was operated at a range of temperatures (300 °C – 340 °C) and flow rates (3 – 7 ml min-1), with the feed being delivered using high pressure N2 rather than a mechanical pump. The design incorporated the in-situ collection of solids through a double tube design. The algae was processed at 5 wt% and the results were compared to those from a batch reactor operated at equivalent conditions. By combining high heating rates with extended reaction times, the continuous system was able to yield significantly enhanced bio-crude yields compared to the batch system. This demonstrates the need for inexpensive continuous processing in the lab, to aid in scale up decision making.

Funding

This work was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/G03768X/1) and the RAEng through a Newton Fellowship grant (NRCP/1415/176).

History

School

  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering

Department

  • Chemical Engineering

Published in

Fuel Processing Technology

Volume

165

Pages

102 - 111

Citation

WAGNER, J.L. ... et al., 2017. Design and operation of an inexpensive, laboratory-scale, continuous hydrothermal liquefaction reactor for the conversion of microalgae produced during wastewater treatment. Fuel Processing Technology, 165, pp. 102 - 111.

Publisher

© Elsevier

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

05/05/2017

Publication date

2017-05-20

Notes

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Fuel Processing Technology and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuproc.2017.05.006

ISSN

0378-3820

Language

en

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