In this study, pyrolysis of microalgal remnants was investigated for recovery of energy and nutrients. Chlorella vulgaris biomass was first solvent-extracted for lipid recovery then the remnants were used as the feedstock for fast pyrolysis experiments using a fluidized bed reactor at 500 degrees C. Yields of bio-oil, biochar, and gas were 53, 31, and 10 wt.%, respectively. Bio-oil from C vulgaris remnants was a complex mixture of aromatics and straight-chain hydrocarbons, amides, amines, carboxylic acids, phenols, and other compounds with molecular weights ranging from 70 to 1200 Da. Structure and surface topography of the biochar were analyzed. The high inorganic content (potassium, phosphorous, and nitrogen) of the biochar suggests it may be suitable to provide nutrients for crop production. The bio-oil and biochar represented 57% and 36% of the energy content of the microalgae remnant feedstock, respectively. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Fast pyrolysis of microalgae remnants in a fluidized bed reactor for bio-oil and biochar production