Fractional conversion of microalgae from water blooms†
Fractional conversion of natural algae cyanobacteria from Taihu Lake was conducted. The raw Taihu Lake algae (TLA) and pretreated samples were pyrolyzed at 290 °C and 450 °C according to the TGA results. Extraction of lipids or saccharides from the TLA was performed as a pretreatment to obtain lipid extracted algae (LEA) or saccharide extracted algae (SEA). The total yields of bio-oil from fractional pyrolysis were 40.9 wt% from TLA, 42.3 wt% from LEA, and 48.5 wt% from SEA. From TLA, the major components of the bio-oil were fatty acids, amides and hydrocarbons (heptadecane) at 290 °C whereas those at 450 °C were phenols and C10–C15 hydrocarbons. Following the lipid extraction, acids, amides and indoles accounted for a large proportion at 290 °C, while the main products obtained at 450 °C were phenols, indoles and pyrroles. It is worth mentioning that the yield of bio-oil from the LEA had increased, and the composition of the bio-oil was simplified. Moreover, the average molecular weight of the bio-oil obtained from LEA had decreased. Interestingly, the extraction of saccharides inhibited pyrolysis of the lipids, so the distribution of the bio-oil from SEA changed only a little. Fractional pyrolysis of pretreated microalgae not only increased the bio-oil yield but also improved the quality of the bio-oil.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Bio-resources: feeding a sustainable chemical industry