Using CO₂ in cultivation of microalgal biomass and thermo-chemical process

Jonghyun PARK, Seong-Heon CHO, Sungyup JUNG, Jeong Seop LEE, Yiu Fai TSANG, Sang Jun SIM, Eilhann E. KWON

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Microalgal biomass is a promising candidate for next generation biorefinery resources because of its rapid growth rate and efficiency in carbon assimilation. Recent studies have reported successful microalgal cultivation using exhaust gases rich in CO as the carbon source. This study focuses on optimising carbon utilisation by incorporating CO into the pyrolysis process of microalgae, particularly Scenedesmus sp., cultivated under elevated CO concentrations. Under the influence of CO, homogeneous reactions occurred between the volatile pyrolysates and CO. These reactions result in enhanced CO levels and a reduction in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in pyrolytic oil through the simultaneous reduction of CO and oxidation of volatile pyrolysates. To accelerate the kinetics of these homogeneous reactions, catalytic pyrolysis was performed using Ni-based catalysts. The catalytic effects of The Ni catalyst significantly boosted CO production by promoting homogeneous reactions. The evolution of CO from catalytic pyrolysis under CO conditions was 2.92 times higher than that from double-stage pyrolysis. Thus, these experimental findings underscore the technical advantages of strategically utilising CO in both microalgal biomass cultivation and the thermochemical conversion of microalgal biomass. Copyright © 2024 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Article number149700
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Early online dateFeb 2024
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


Park, J., Cho, S.-H., Jung, S., Lee, J. S., Tsang, Y. F., Sim, S. J., & Kwon, E. E. (2024). Using CO₂ in cultivation of microalgal biomass and thermo-chemical process. Chemical Engineering Journal, 484, Article 149700.


  • Microalgae
  • CO₂ utilization
  • Carbon neutrality
  • Pyrolysis
  • Biorefinery
  • Syngas


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