Pyrolysis of Nannochloropsis was carried out in a fixed-bed reactor with newly prepared ceria based catalysts. The effects of pyrolysis parameters such as temperature and catalysts on product yields were investigated. The amount of bio-char, bio-oil and gas products, as well as the compositions of the resulting bio-oils was determined. The results showed that both temperature and catalyst had significant effects on conversion of Nannochloropsis into solid, liquid and gas products. The highest bio-oil yield (23.28 wt%) and deoxygenation effect was obtained in the presence of Ni-Ce/Al2O3 as catalyst at 500 degrees C. Ni-Ce/Al2O3 was able to retain 59% of the alga starting energy in the bio-oil, compared to only 41% in absence of catalyst. Lower content of acids and oxygen in the bio-oil, higher aliphatics (62%), combined with HHV show promise for production of high-quality bio-oil from Nannochloropsis via Ni-Ce/Al2O3 catalytic pyrolysis. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.