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Title: Quantitative Characterization of the Aqueous Fraction from Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Algae

Aqueous streams generated from hydrothermal liquefaction contain approximately 30% of the total carbon present from the algal feed. Hence, this aqueous carbon must be utilized to produce liquid fuels and/or specialty chemicals for economic sustainability of hydrothermal liquefaction on industrial scale. In this study, aqueous fractions produced from the hydrothermal liquefaction of fresh water and saline water algal cultures were analyzed using a wide variety of analytical instruments to determine their compositional characteristics. This study will also inform researchers designing catalysts for down-stream processing such as high-pressure catalytic conversion of organics in aqueous phase, catalytic hydrothermal gasification, and biological conversions. Organic chemical compounds present in all eight aqueous fractions were identified using two-dimensional gas chromatography equipped with time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Identified compounds include organic acids, nitrogen compounds and aldehydes/ketones. Conventional gas chromatography and liquid chromatography methods were utilized to quantify the identified compounds. Inorganic species in the aqueous stream of hydrothermal liquefaction of algae were identified using ion chromatography and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer. The concentrations of organic chemical compounds and inorganic species are reported. The amount quantified carbon ranged from 45 to 72 % of total carbon in the aqueous fractions.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
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Journal Name: Biomass & Bioenergy, 93:122-130
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
Hydrothermal liquefaction; 2-D GC x GC; Analytical chemistry