PNNL’s hydrothermal liquefaction shows promise for turning toxic algal blooms into biocrude

November 7, 2020 |

In Washington, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has helped the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Research and Development Center take their algae bloom research a step further by investigating blooms as a viable source of biocrude fuel and fertilizer using hydrothermal liquefaction.

The team demonstrated a three-step approach that “cleans” the water, removes the algae and entrained nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus from the water, and transforms the algae into a potential energy source.

The project is called Harmful Algal Bloom Interception, Treatment and Transformation System, or HABITATS.  The goal is to remove blue-green algae from large bodies of water while simultaneously recovering energy and nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus—an approach that mitigates near-term impacts from harmful algal blooms and helps reduce future blooms over time.

PNNL used hydrothermal liquefaction to transform the concentrated algae biomass from Lake Okeechobee into biocrude.

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Category: Research

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