1 Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Rasht Branch, Islamic Azad University, Rasht, Iran

2 Biofuel Research Laboratory, Caspian Faculty of Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Rezvanshar, Guilan, Iran



BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: In this study, the characteristics of bio-oil samples produced through slow pyrolysis of two different macroalgae, i.e. Azolla filiculoides and Ulva fasciata, at optimized conditions were determined and compared.
METHODS: For this purpose, the effects of temperature (300-500 °C), carrier gas flow rate (0.2-0.8 L/min), ‎and heating rate (10-20 °C/min) on the final bio-oil production were optimized using response ‎surface methodology established by a central composite design.
FINDINGS: The highest bio-oil yield from U. fasciata (34.29%) was obtained at the temperature of 500 °C, ‎‎ nitrogen flow rate of 0.2 L/min, and heating rate of 10 °C/min. As for A. filiculoides feedstock, the highest bio-oil ‎yield (30.83%) was achieved at the temperature of 461 °C, nitrogen flow rate of 0.5 L/min, and heating rate of 20 °C/min. Both bio-oil samples contained ‎saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons. However, the average hydrocarbon chain length was ‎relatively shorter in U. fasciata bio-oil (C4-C16) than in bio-oil from A. filiculoides (C6-C24). Although both bio-oils had almost ‎identical heating values, the U. fasciata bio-oil showed more appropriate properties, i.e. lower viscosity and ‎density. Furthermore, the energy recovery from U. fasciata pyrolysis was calculated as 56.6% which was ‎almost 1.5 times higher than the energy recovery from A. filiculoides pyrolysis.
CONCLUSION: The results indicated that U. fasciata bio-oil, with its superior characteristics, could be proposed as a promising candidate for application in diesel-based automotive industries. ‎
©2021 The author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, as long as the original authors and source are cited. No permission is required from the authors or the publishers.

Graphical Abstract

Bio-oil production by pyrolysis of Azolla filiculoides and Ulva fasciata macroalgae


  • The pyrolysis conditions were optimized for Azolla filiculoides and Ulva fasciata;
  • The maximum bio-oil yields from Azolla and Ulva were 30.8% and 34.3%, respectively;
  • Comparing to the bio-oil from Azolla, the bio-oil from Ulva has superior properties as diesel fuel;
  • The bio-oil from Azolla has a higher heating value, while the bio-oil from Ulva provides a higher energy recovery.


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