Navigation Links
Hydrothermal liquefaction -- the most promising path to a sustainable bio-oil production
Date:2/6/2013

A new generation of the HTL process can convert all kinds of biomasses to crude bio-oil, which is sufficiently similar to fossil crude oil that a simple thermal upgrade and existing refinery technology can be employed to subsequently obtain all the liquid fuels we know today. What is more, the HTL process only consumes approximately 10-15 percent of the energy in the feedstock biomass, yielding an energy efficiency of 85-90 percent.

To emphasize, the HTL process accepts all biomasses from modern society sewage sludge, manure, wood, compost and plant material along with waste from households, meat factories, dairy production and similar industries.

It is by far the most feedstock flexible of any liquid fuel producing process, including pyrolysis, bio-ethanol, gasification with Fischer-Tropsch or catalytic upgrading of different vegetable or agro-industrial residual oils, and does not carry higher costs than these.

Hydrothermal liquefaction is basically pressure cooking, but instead of cooking the biomass in batches, one pot-full at a time, this new generation of HTL is based on flow production, where the biomass is injected into a 400 C pre-heated reactor, "cooked" under high pressure for ~15 minutes and then quickly cooled down to 70C.

At 400C and high pressure the water is in a supercritical state, neither liquid nor gas, at which it easily decomposes the biomass. The process is environmentally friendly, since no harmful solvents are involved, and the energy efficiency is very high: The HTL process only consumes approximately 10-15% of the energy in the feedstock biomass, because the heat energy is recycled between the heating and cooling of the process medium.

The wet medium means that HTL readily accepts moist or wet biomasses, such as those mentioned above. Wet biomasses are in vast majority on Earth. All other known processes for liquid bio-fuel production either require expensive drying or only make use of a limited proportion of the biomass, e.g. the carbohydrate content.

The water phase emanating from the HTL process has low carbon contents and can either be recycled into the process or ultimately be purified to attain drinking water quality, which is the long-term goal. As such HTL replaces the burden of disposal with the benefit of recycling.

The HTL process has the following benefits:

  • Crude HTL oil has high heating values of approximately 35-39 MJ/kg on a dry ash free basis
  • The HTL process only consumes approximately 10-15% of the energy in the feedstock biomass, yielding an energy efficiency of 85-90%
  • Crude HTL oil has very low oxygen, sulphur and water content (compared to e.g. pyrolysis oil which typically contains approx. 50% water)
  • HTL oil recovers more than 70% of the feedstock carbon content (single pass)
  • HTL oil is storage stable, and has comparatively low upgrading requirements, due in part to a high fraction of middle distillates in the crude oil. It is much less upgrading intensive than e.g. pyrolysis oil, which needs immediate upgrading in order not to deteriorate.

The bio-oil from HTL can be used as-produced in heavy engines or it can be hydrogenated or thermally upgraded to obtain diesel-, gasoline- or jet-fuels by existing refinery technology. In this sense, HTL bio-oil is directly comparable to fossil crude oil. This is unique among liquid bio-fuels and means that it can directly enter the existing fuel distribution network for automotive transportation in any concentration, giving it full drop-in properties.

In Denmark, Aarhus University and Aalborg University are in partnership on HTL research at all levels. In Aarhus, Dept. of Chemistry focuses on fundamental understanding of the process and quick surveys of the effects of different feedstocks and catalysts along with subsequent upgrading. Dept. of Agro-Ecology develops energy crops while Dept. of Engineering works on pilot-scale HTL. The latter is pursued even more vigorously at Aalborg University (Dept. of Energy Technology), which focuses strongly on pilot-scale production and process efficiency, as well as upgrading of HTL bio-oil along with end user testing of oils and upgraded distillates in engines and turbines. The Dept. of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Environmental Engineering, AAU Esbjerg, directs its activities towards extracting value not only from the oil, but also from the effluents.

The combined efforts and unique results already obtained hold promise of another energy technology endeavor in Denmark comparable only to the breakthrough of the windmill-industry in the 1980's.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jacob Becker, Ph.D.
jbecker@chem.au.dk
(45) 20-65-68-62
Aarhus University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. S*BIOs Novel JAK2 Inhibitor Pacritinib (SB1518) and Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor Pracinostat (SB939) Demonstrate Promising Activity in Phase 2 Studies for Patients with Myelofibrosis (MF)
2. New 3-D transistors promising future chips, lighter laptops
3. Founder of National Childrens Leukemia Unveiled Non-Embryonic Stem Cell Treatment Promising Cure for Cancer at GIL 2012: Europe
4. University of Miami study finds RBAC to possess promising immunomodulating effects with respect to natural killer cell and cytokine activity
5. Promising Data Presented on GenVec Malaria Program
6. Bioprinting has promising future
7. Exon skipping to restore gene expression is promising therapeutic strategy for muscular dystrophy
8. Farm weeds have crucial role in sustainable agriculture
9. New Study: Health Professionals Support Biotechnologys Use In Food Products And Sustainable Farming
10. Maxx Performance Joins GreenPalm to Promote Sustainable Harvest of Palm Oil
11. Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy highlights energy trends in China
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Hydrothermal liquefaction -- the most promising path to a sustainable bio-oil production
(Date:2/9/2016)... PA (PRWEB) , ... February 09, 2016 , ... With ... the 2016 Wharton Health Care Business Conference will bring together over 500 top healthcare ... for an industry in transformation. The conference, organized by MBA students of the University ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... Tunnell Consulting, Inc. announced that Frédéric Lefebvre has ... focus on acquiring new accounts and work closely with existing Tunnell clients throughout Europe ... to our European clients more than 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... , Feb. 9, 2016 This market ... the current and future prospects of the market in ... report include companies engaged in the manufacture of microbiology ... executive summary with a market snapshot providing the overall ... of this report. This section also provides the overall ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM Inc. (TSXV: ... the top ten finalists for clean technology companies in the ... the top 10 companies listed on the TSX Venture Exchange, ... & gas, clean technology & life sciences, diversified ... equal weighting given to return on investment, market cap growth, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:1/25/2016)... Jan. 25, 2016  Glencoe Software, the world-leading supplier ... publication industries, will provide the data management solution OMERO ... Photo ... Phenotypic analysis measures the characteristics ... allowing comparisons between states such as health and disease, ...
(Date:1/20/2016)... 20, 2016   MedNet Solutions , an innovative ... of clinical research, is pleased to announce the attainment ... are the result of the company,s laser focus on ... , it,s comprehensive, easy-to-use and highly affordable cloud-based ... Key MedNet growth achievements in 2015 include: ...
(Date:1/13/2016)... January 13, 2016 ... addition of the  "India Biometrics Authentication ... Forecast (2015-2020)"  report to their ... has announced the addition of the  ... - Estimation & Forecast (2015-2020)" ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):