Microwave-assisted pyrolysis of microalgae for biofuel production

Zhenyi Du, Yecong Li, Xiaoquan Wang, Yiqin Wan, Qin Chen, Chenguang Wang, Xiangyang Lin, Yuhuan Liu, Paul Chen, Roger Ruan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

238 Scopus citations


The pyrolysis of Chlorella sp. was carried out in a microwave oven with char as microwave reception enhancer. The results indicated that the maximum bio-oil yield of 28.6% was achieved under the microwave power of 750. W. The bio-oil properties were characterized with elemental, GC-MS, GPC, FTIR, and thermogravimetric analysis. The algal bio-oil had a density of 0.98. kg/L, a viscosity of 61.2 cSt, and a higher heating value (HHV) of 30.7. MJ/kg. The GC-MS results showed that the bio-oils were mainly composed of aliphatic hydrocarbons, aromatic hydrocarbons, phenols, long chain fatty acids and nitrogenated compounds, among which aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons (account for 22.18% of the total GC-MS spectrum area) are highly desirable compounds as those in crude oil, gasoline and diesel. The results in this study indicate that fast growing algae are a promising source of feedstock for advanced renewable fuel production via microwave-assisted pyrolysis (MAP).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4890-4896
Number of pages7
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011


  • Bio-oil
  • Chlorella sp.
  • Microalgae
  • Microwave-assisted pyrolysis

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