Algal biocrude is obtained from hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) and pyrolysis processes contains large amounts of nitrogen and oxygen heteroatoms that make it unsutiable for further use. Algal biocrude needs to be catalytically upgraded via hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) and hydrodenitrogenation (HDN) into liquid transportation fuels. The current project prepares the student gain insight into role of heterogeneous catalysts in HDO and HDN through complete background readings from journal articles and textbooks.
Review background information on HTL and pyrolysis of algal biomass and familiarize with physical and chemical characteristics of the biocrude obtained thereby .
Review the role of heterogeneous catalysts in HDO and HDN; describe key characteristics of catalysts, reaction mechanisms and selectivity of desired hydrocarbon compounds in HDO/HDN reactions.
Compare and contrast the fuel properties of catalytically upgraded products with conventional petroleum fuels.