Gasification of Phycoremediation Algal Biomass

Mahmoud A. Sharara, Sammy S. Sadaka


Microalgae have been utilized in wastewater treatment strategies in various contexts. Uncontrolled algal species are a cheap and effective remediation strategy. This study investigates the thermochemical potential of wastewater treatment algae (phycoremediation) as a means to produce renewable fuel streams and bio-products. Three gasification temperature levels were investigated in an auger gasification platform: 760, 860, and 960 °C. Temperature increases resulted in corresponding increases in CO and H2 concentrations in the producer gas from 12.8% and 4.7% at 760 °C to 16.9% and 11.4% at 960 °C, respectively. Condensable yields ranged between 15.0% and 16.6%, whereas char yields fell between 46.0% and 51.0%. The high ash content (40% on a dry basis) was the main cause of the elevated char yields. On the other hand, the relatively high yields of condensables and a high carbon concentration in the char were attributed to the low conversion efficiency in this gasification platform. Combustion kinetics of the raw algae, in a thermogravimetric analyzer, showed three consecutive stages of weight loss: drying, devolatilization, and char oxidation. Increasing the algae gasification temperature led to increases in the temperature of peak char oxidation. Future studies will further investigate improvements to the performance of auger gasification.


Algae; Phycoremediation; Gasification; Wastewater treatment; Auger reactor; Char; Condensables; Producer gas yield

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