Illinois Sustainable Technology Center - University of Illinois

Characterization of Aqueous Phase Produced by Thermochemical Conversion: (Phase One: Nitrogen Compounds)

Presented by John Scott, Senior Chemist, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

October 11, 2011

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Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) and pyrolysis are emerging technologies that create a bio-crude oil from biomass feedstocks. In addition to bio-oil, these processes produce syn-gas, biochar, and an aqueous phase. Only limited information regarding the composition of the aqueous phase is available. Furthermore, the properties of this material can vary greatly depending on feedstock and operating conditions. A systematic approach utilizing gas chromatography, high resolution mass spectrometry, and deconvolution software is being developed to identify the major components of an aqueous phase produced by HTL conversion of algae. Reference materials purchased for components found in identification experiments were used to verify and quantify main component concentrations.

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