Dr. Diego Lopez Barreiro


Microalgae are versatile biological cell factories with higher photosynthetic efficiency, faster growth rate, and area-specific yield than terrestrial biomass.

Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) is a microalgae conversion technique in hot compressed water (300-375ºC and 10-25 MPa) that requires no drying and fewer organic solvents, compared to conventional solvent extraction methods. The main product is a liquid energy carrier called bio-oil, but also gas, aqueous and solid products.

The main goal of this work is to find the most suitable feedstock strains and the optimal process conditions for microalgae HTL. This projects aim to provide, through a zero-waste approach, an integrated process scheme of an algae biorefinery concept that includes not only the conversion to biofuel but also the extraction of other co-products. In such a process, sustainable aspects like the recyclability of nutrients, water, or CO2 play a key role.