Hydrothermal liquefaction of algae produces an energy-dense (bio)crude that can be catalytically upgraded into liquid transportation fuels. The current project prepares the student gain insight into role of heterogeneous catalysts in a hydrothermal environment through complete background readings from journal articles and textbooks.
Review background information on hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of algal biomass and key challenges in the process scale-up.
Review the role of heterogeneous catalysts in HTL processing and algal biocrude upgrading; describe key characteristics of catalysts, reaction mechanisms and selectivity of desired hydrocarbon compounds in HTL and hydrodeoxygenation/ hydrodenitrogenation reactions.
Compare and contrast the fuel properties of catalytically upgraded products with conventional petroleum fuels.
- Senior standing in CHME
- Brian Treftz