Hydrothermal liquefaction of Spirulina and Nannochloropsis Salina under subcritical and supercritical water conditions

Saqib Toor, H. Reddy, S. Deng, Jessica Hoffmann, D. Spangsmark, L. B. Madsen, Jens Bo Holm-Nielsen, Lasse Rosendahl

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Six hydrothermal liquefaction experiments on Nannochloropsis salina and Spirulina platensis at subcritical and supercritical water conditions (220-375 °C, 20-255 bar) were carried out to explore the feasibility of extracting lipids from wet algae, preserving nutrients in lipid-extracted algae solid residue, and recycling process water for algae cultivation. GC-MS, elemental analyzer, FT-IR, calorimeter and nutrient analysis were used to analyze bio-crude, lipid-extracted algae and water samples produced in the hydrothermal liquefaction process. The highest bio-crude yield of 46% was obtained on Nannochloropsis salina at 350 °C and 175 bar. For Spirulina platensis algae sample, the optimal hydrothermal liquefaction condition appears to be at 310 °C and 115 bar, while the optimal condition for Nannochloropsis salina is at 350 °C and 175 bar. Preliminary data also indicate that a lipid-extracted algae solid residue sample obtained in the hydrothermal liquefaction process contains a high level of proteins.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBioresource Technology
Pages (from-to)413-419
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2013



  • Hydrothermal liquefaction
  • Subcritical water
  • Algal biofuel
  • Nannochloropsis salina
  • Spirulina

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