This study investigated the optimum thermochemical liquefaction (TCL) operating conditions for producing biocrude from Spirulina platensis. TCL experiments were performed at various temperatures (200-380°C), holding times (0-120min), and solids concentrations (10-50%). TCL conversion at 350°C, 60min holding time and 20% solids concentration produced the highest biocrude yield of 39.9% representing 98.3% carbon conversion efficiency. Light fraction biocrude (B1) appeared at 300°C or higher temperatures and represented 50-63% of the total biocrude. Biocrude obtained at 350-380°C had similar fuel properties to that of petroleum crude with energy density of 34.7-39.9MJkg-1compared to 42.9MJkg-1for petroleum crude. Biocrude from conversion at 300°C or above had 71-77% elemental carbon, and 0.6-11.6% elemental oxygen and viscosities in the range 40-68 cP. GC/MS of biocrude reported higher hydrocarbons (C16-C17), phenolics, carboxylic acids, esters, aldehydes, amines, and amides. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
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