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Title: Development of Hydrothermal Liquefaction and Upgrading Technologies for Lipid-Extracted Algae Conversion to Liquid Fuels

Bench-scale tests were performed for lipid-extracted microalgae (LEA) conversion to liquid fuels via hydrotreating liquefaction (HTL) and upgrading processes. Process simulation and economic analysis for a large-scale LEA HTL and upgrading system were developed based on the best available test results. The system assumes an LEA feed rate of 608 dry metric ton/day and that the feedstock is converted to a crude HTL bio-oil and further upgraded via hydrotreating and hydrocracking to produce liquid hydrocarbon fuels, mainly alkanes. Performance and cost results demonstrate that HTL would be an effective option to convert LEA to liquid fuel. The liquid fuels annual yield was estimated to be 26.9 million gallon gasoline-equivalent and the overall energy efficiency at higher heating value basis was estimated to be 69.5%. The minimum fuel selling price (MFSP) was estimated to be $0.75/L with LEA feedstock price at $33.1 metric ton at dry basis and 10% internal rate of return. A sensitivity analysis indicated that the largest effects to production cost would come from the final products yields and the upgrading equipments cost. The impact of plant scale on MFSP was also investigated.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Algal Research, 2(4):455-464
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Microalgae, Lipid extracted algae, Hydrothermal liquefaction, Upgrading, Techno-economic