February 9, 2022
Journal Article

Impact of storage and blending of algae and forest product residue on fuel blendstock production


Seasonal impacts on the production of algae biomass require blending with other feedstocks such as wood to maintain consistent annual conversion capacity. Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has developed a long-term storage strategy for algae biomass using ensiling, or anaerobic wet storage, that was tested for blends of algae and wood to stabilize the feedstock supply for processing to fuels. Additionally, blending biomass (algae and wood) leverages existing biomass storage approaches commonly used by the feed and forage industry. Earlier research also has demonstrated positive results that indicate ensiling is more effective and economical in normalizing biomass feedstock supply prior to conversions such as HTL (hydrothermal liquefaction) than preserving biomass by drying. By assessing impacts beginning with upstream logistic operations and proceeding through each conversion step, this work focuses on conversion of ensiled and blended biomass to fungible liquid transportation fuel blendstocks . This is accomplished by conversion of the blended biomass (62% Chlorella sp. blended with 38% loblolly pine forest product residues [FPR]) to bio-crude through HTL and subsequent upgrading through HT (hydrotreating) with a commercial refinery catalyst analogous to a refinery process to produce hydrocarbon fuel. Results indicate that carbon retention and quality are preserved in both the bio-crude and upgraded fuel from the ensiled blend, indicating the potential of this approach for managing seasonal variations in algae biomass productivity.

Published: February 9, 2022


Santosa D.M., L. Wendt, B.D. Wahlen, A.J. Schmidt, J.M. Billing, I.V. Kutnyakov, and R.T. Hallen, et al. 2022. Impact of storage and blending of algae and forest product residue on fuel blendstock production. Algal Research 62. PNNL-SA-169550. doi:10.1016/j.algal.2021.102622