Assessing microalgae biorefinery routes for the production of biofuels via hydrothermal liquefaction

Diego López Barreiro*, Chiara Samorì, Giuseppe Terranella, Ursel Hornung, Andrea Kruse, Wolter Prins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


The interest in third generation biofuels from microalgae has been rising during the past years. Meanwhile, it seems not economically feasible to grow algae just for biofuels. Co-products with a higher value should be produced by extracting a particular algae fraction to improve the economics of an algae biorefinery. The present study aims at analyzing the influence of two main microalgae components (lipids and proteins) on the composition and quantity of biocrude oil obtained via hydrothermal liquefaction of two strains (. Nannochloropsis gaditana and Scenedesmus almeriensis). The algae were liquefied as raw biomass, after extracting lipids and after extracting proteins in microautoclave experiments at different temperatures (300-375. °C) for 5 and 15. min. The results indicate that extracting the proteins from the microalgae prior to HTL may be interesting to improve the economics of the process while at the same time reducing the nitrogen content of the biocrude oil.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-265
Number of pages10
JournalBioresource Technology
Early online date14 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014


  • Biofuel production
  • Biorefinery
  • Hydrothermal liquefaction
  • Microalgae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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