Hydrothermal conversion of big bluestem for bio-oil production: The effect of ecotype and planting location

Jing Gan, Wenqiao Yuan, Loretta Johnson, Donghai Wang, Richard Nelson, Ke Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Three ecotypes (CKS, EKS, IL) and one cultivar (KAW) of big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) that were planted in three locations (Hays, KS; Manhattan, KS; and Carbondale, IL) were converted to bio-oil via hydrothermal conversion. Significant differences were found in the yield and elemental composition of bio-oils produced from big bluestem of different ecotypes and/or planting locations. Generally, the IL ecotype and the Carbondale, IL and Manhattan, KS planting locations gave higher bio-oil yield, which can be attributed to the higher total cellulose and hemicellulose content and/or the higher carbon but lower oxygen contents in these feedstocks. Bio-oil from the IL ecotype also had the highest carbon and lowest oxygen contents, which were not affected by the planting location. Bio-oils from big bluestem had yield, elemental composition, and chemical compounds similar to bio-oils from switchgrass and corncobs, although mass percentages of some of the compounds were slightly different.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-420
Number of pages8
JournalBioresource Technology
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the US Department of Transportation and Sun Grant ( DTOS59-07-G-00053 ), the US Department of Agriculture, Abiotic Stress Program ( 2008-35100-04545 ), and the US Department of Energy ( DE-EE0000620 ) for their financial support. Part of this work was also supported by the startup fund of North Carolina State University and the Agricultural Experimental Station of Kansas State University (contribution number 12-281-J).


  • Big bluestem
  • Bio-oil
  • Hydrothermal conversion
  • Liquefaction
  • Planting location


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