Temperature-Dependent Lipid Conversion and Nonlipid Composition of Microalgal Hydrothermal Liquefaction Oils Monitored by Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry

Nilusha Sudasinghe, Harvind Reddy, Nicholas Csakan, Shuguang Deng, Peter Lammers, Tanner Schaub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


We illustrate a detailed compositional characterization of hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) oils derived from two biochemically distinct microalgae, Nannochloropsis gaditana and Chlorella sp. (DOE 1412), for a range of reaction temperature as observed by high-resolution electrospray ionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (ESI FT-ICR MS). The unique capability to unequivocally derive molecular formulae directly from FT-ICR MS-measured mass-to-charge ratio (for several thousand compounds in each oil) shows that lipids are completely reacted/converted for any reaction temperature above 200 °C and reveals the formation of nonlipid reaction products with increasing temperature. Specifically, lipid-rich oil is obtained at low reaction temperature (

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1962-1972
Number of pages11
JournalBioenergy Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015



  • Chlorella
  • Hydrothermal liquefaction
  • Lipids
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Nannochloropsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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