Heterogeneous Catalysts in Hydrotreatment of Algae into liquid fuels


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.

Completion Objectives:

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.

Faculty Advisor:

  • Jena

Required Competencies

  • Senior standing in CHME

Student Researcher:

  • Brian Treftz

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