A renewable energy source — hydrocarbon gases resulting from pyrolysis of the marine nanoplanktonic alga Emiliania huxleyi
- Cite this article as:
- Wu, Q., Dai, J., Shiraiwa, Y. et al. Journal of Applied Phycology (1999) 11: 137. doi:10.1023/A:1008075802738
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The marine coccolithophore, Emiliania huxleyi, grown in the laboratory was subjected to vacuum pyrolysis at various temperatures from 100 to 500 °C. The highest yield of pyrolytic gases (183 mL g−1 dry cells) was obtained at 400 °C. The amount of total hydrocarbon gas produced at 400 °C was 129 mL, about 10 times higher than at 300 °C. CH4 was the major component at the high gas-production stage (400–500 °C). The great increase in hydrocarbon gases at 400 °C was accompanied by a marked decrease in liquid saturates and aromatics. The results indicate that the liquid hydrocarbons (oil) produced by pyrolysis at lower temperature is a direct source for the formation of the hydrocarbon gases. Due to its large potential for the production of biomass and hydrocarbons with low energy input, E. huxleyi is suggested as one of candidates for the production of renewable fuels.