Hee Chul Woo is a professor in the department of chemical engineering at pukyong national university in korea, where he has taught since 1992. He received his B.S. degree (Inha University, Korea), M.S. degree (KAIST, Korea), and Ph.D. degree (POSTECH, Korea) all in chemical engineering and was a post-doctoral fellow at the university of california at Berkeley (1995-1996). In 2003 he has a visiting professor at the Virginia Tech. His research interests cover heterogeneous catalysis, adsorptive desulfurization from gases and liquid fuels, and bioenergy production and integrated utilization of marine biomass. Woo is general director of Aquatic Biomass Research Center and also a chairman of The Korean Society of Clean Technology.
Hydrogen is an important raw material to replace fossil fuels in the future, or it may simply continue to be an important commodity widely used in industry. The conventional process of hydrogen production is the steam reforming of methane, light hydrocarbons, and naphtha. Biomass can be used an alternative feedstock for hydrogen production via two possible pathways, which are. Steam gasification and catalytic steam reforming of bio-oils converted from biomass by fast pyrolysis or hydrothermal liquefaction. Macro algae have been regarded as a sustainable biomass resource because of their high productivity and growth rates, no competition of land crops, and area availability. Therefore, the objective of this research is to study activities for catalytic steam reforming of macro algae derived oil over Ni/MTixOy based catalysts. Firstly, we studied effect of different supports such as Al2O3, SiO2, ZrO2-CeO2 and MgO on the catalytic activities for hydrogen production. Secondly, we studied effect of metal on the MTixOy structures for hydrogen production. MTixOy composition by K, Ca, Sr and Ba which have different layered structure (K) and perovskite structure (Ca, Sr and Ba). Steam reforming reaction was carried out at 873-1173 K under atmospheric pressure in a fixed-bed reactor made of Inconel material. LHSV was change from 0.5 to 4 h-1 and product gases (H2, CO, CH4 and CO2) were analyzed using GC-TCD. We have investigated MTixOy added Ni-based catalysts on the catalytic steam reforming of liquefied oil. It was found that a product composition was different depending on support materials. An acidic support (Al2O3) led to a higher selectivity for CO while a reducing support (ZrO2-CeO2) resulted in a higher CO2 selectivity. It is believed that Zro2- and CeO2 was so-called oxy-transporters due to their oxygen conducting properties and can actively participate in the catalytic reaction by oxidizing or reducing reaction intermediates.
Luisa F Rios Pinto, PhD is a Postdoctoral Researcher at University of Campinas, Brazil. Rios received Bachelor’s from Industrial University of Santander in Chemical Engineering and her Master’s and PhD degrees from University of Campinas in Chemical Engineering as well. Her particular interest is in a conventional and no- conventional separation processes, purification of products and chemical reactions. Her research has concentrated on biodiesel production from microalgae; her recent research activities include study of nitrogen starvation, influence of culture medium and comparison of growth regimes for lipid accumulation.
Statement of the Problem: Microalgae are considered as alternative as biodiesel feedstock. These microorganisms can grow fast and accumulate high level of lipids. However, biodiesel production from microalgae is associated with high production cost. Traditional transesterification from microalgae includes: dry, cell disruption, oil extraction and finally trans/esterification, involving a long processing time. This process is complex and includes several steps; therefore, direct transesterification (in situ) can combine all these steps in a single step and in a single reactor. This process can be economically viable, once in situ transesterification eliminates the biomass drying, lipid extraction and separation steps. Bearing all this in mind, the aim of this work is to investigate in situ transesterification from wet biomass microalgae. Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: Microalgae Desmodesmus sp. growth was carried out under light flux of 62 μE m-2 s-1, shaker rate of 250 rpm and 26 ± 4 ºC during 14 days. Then, biomass was recuperated by centrifugation. The in situ transesterification was carried out with methanol and sulfuric acid at 60ºC during 1, 3 and 6 hours of reaction. Figure 1 shown the experimental methodology. Findings: The in situ transesterification was conducted and confirms that is very important to use excess of alcohol. The FAME (fatty methyl ester) production increase when the reaction time increases. Conclusion & Significance: In this work, the in situ transesterification was carried out from Desmodemus sp. The importance of this study was to eliminate the drying and oil extraction steps. The results shown that is possible to convert wet microalgae biomass directly to FAME with high yield. This method is a cost-effective process from microalgae wet biomass. Acknowledgments: The authors are very thankful to São Paulo Research Foundation Process N.2014/10064-9.