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Continuous catalytic hydrothermal gasification of algal biomass and case study on toxicity of aluminum as a step toward effluents recycling

Paper ID Volume ID Publish Year Pages File Format Full-Text
54727 47024 2014 9 PDF Available
Title
Continuous catalytic hydrothermal gasification of algal biomass and case study on toxicity of aluminum as a step toward effluents recycling
Abstract

•Physical blockage is noticed in supercritical water gasification (SCWG) of algae.•Mg, Ca and P tend to precipitate on the catalyst in SCWG of algal biomass.•0.025 mg L−1 of Al in the alkaline SC output is harmful enough for C. vulgaris.•Al toxicity could be diminished by adjusting the pH in the nutrient flow.

A novel process named SunCHem has been proposed to produce methane via catalytic hydrothermal gasification of microalgae [1], [2] and [3]. The process is innovative because it is designed as a closed-cycle system with respect to water, nutrients and some of the CO2, which are recycled and reused for the growth of microalgae. However, this recycled hydrothermal input is a matter of concern because upon continuous operation, it may become enriched in potential toxicants for algae. This study concerns the investigation of (1) the continuous catalytic hydrothermal gasification of the microalgae Phaeodactylum tricornutum, and (2) the influence of aluminum on microalgae growth, as traces of this metal are expected in the hydrothermal effluent. Experiments with the algae P. tricornutum, demonstrated the technical feasibility of pumping algae slurry (6.5 wt.%) through the continuous pilot plant with simultaneous gasification for several hours. The carbon gasification efficiency, CGas/CFeed, was ca. 31% at steady state. The catalyst was rapidly deactivated during the continuous gasification experiment, due to sulfur poisoning and coking. Concerning the study on the effect of soluble Al on freshwater microalgae, it was demonstrated that at alkaline conditions, the Al hydroxides had a negative effect on algae growth even at concentrations as low as 0.025 mg L−1.

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Keywords
Supercritical water gasification; Catalytic hydrothermal process; Microalgal biomass; Nutrient recovery; Aluminum toxicity; Methane
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Publisher
Database: Elsevier - ScienceDirect
Journal: Catalysis Today - Volume 223, 15 March 2014, Pages 35–43
Authors
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Subjects
Physical Sciences and Engineering Chemical Engineering Catalysis
Get Full-Text Now
Don't Miss Today's Special Offer
Price was $35.95
You save - $31
Price after discount Only $4.95
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Full-text PDF Download
Online Support
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