Scientific direction Development of key enabling technologies
Transfer of knowledge to industry

PhD : selection by topics

Engineering science >> Plant biology
1 proposition(s).

Microalga cultivation on acqueous phase based on hydrotermal liquefaction





Hydrothermal liquefaction is a process that converts wet biomass (10-30% solids) into an oil which can then be refined and used as a biofuel. This process is considered one of the most promising route for the production of biofuels from microalgae. Hydrothermal liquefaction also produces gas, a solid called biochar and an aqueous phase resulting from the water contained in the biomass. The gas consists mainly of CO2 that can be recycled in the microalgae culture and used for their growth. Biochar is a solid rich in carbon and can be used as a soil amendment. As for the aqueous phase, it contains large amounts of nutrients (in the form of ammonium and phosphate ions) which have been dissolved during hydrothermal liquefaction and which can be re-used by microalgae for their growth. However this aqueous phase also contains organic molecules potentially toxic for microalgae. The objective of this thesis project is to study the culture of microalgae on this aqueous phase. For that, we will first identify the compounds that would be the most toxic for the growth of microalgae. Then, we will study the tolerance of microalgae to these toxic molecules and the impact of these molecules on growth. These tests will be carried out at different culture scales (from mL to hundreds of liters) and will integrate the hydrothermal liquefaction process into a biorefinery concept where the use of material and energy flows are optimized.

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