Concentrated Nannochloropsis salina paste was reconstituted in distilled water and synthetic saltwater and processed at 250 °C and 300 °C via hydrothermal liquefaction. The resulting bio-oils yielded a diverse distribution of product classes, as analyzed by ultra high resolution APCI FT-ICR MS. The organic fractions were analyzed and both higher temperatures and distilled water significantly increase the number of total compounds present and the number of product classes. Major bio-oil products consisted of N1O1, hydrocarbon, and O2 classes, while O1, O4, S1, N1O2, and N2O2 classes represented the more significant minor classes. Both chlorine and sulfur containing compounds were detected in both distilled and saltwater reactions, while fewer numbers of chlorine and sulfur containing products were present in the organic fraction of the saltwater reactions. Further refinement to remove the chlorine and sulfur contents appears necessary with marine microalgal bio-oils produced via hydrothermal liquefaction. The higher heating value (MJ/kg) as calculated by the Boie equation of classes of interest in the bio-oil reveals a significant potential of algal hydrothermal liquefaction products as a sustainable and renewable fuel feedstock.
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