Upgrading of crude algal bio-oil in supercritical water

Peigao Duan, Phillip E. Savage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

263 Scopus citations


We determined the influence of a Pt/C catalyst, high-pressure H2, and pH on the upgrading of a crude algal bio-oil in supercritical water (SCW). The SCW treatment led to a product oil with a higher heating value (∼42MJ/kg) and lower acid number than the crude bio-oil. The product oil was also lower in O and N and essentially free of sulfur. Including the Pt/C catalyst in the reactor led to a freely flowing liquid product oil with a high abundance of hydrocarbons. Overall, many of the properties of the upgraded oil obtained from catalytic treatment in SCW are similar to those of hydrocarbon fuels derived from fossil fuel resources. Thus, this work shows that the crude bio-oil from hydrothermal liquefaction of a microalga can be effectively upgraded in supercritical water in the presence of a Pt/C catalyst.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1899-1906
Number of pages8
JournalBioresource technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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