Hydrothermal liquefaction of organic resources in biotechnology: how does it work and what can be achieved?
- 135 Downloads
Increasing the overall carbon and energy efficiency by integration of thermal processes with biological ones has gained considerable attention lately, especially within biorefining. A technology that is capable of processing wet feedstock with good energy efficiency is advantageous. Such a technology, exploiting the special properties of hot compressed water is called hydrothermal liquefaction. The reaction traditionally considered to take place at moderate temperatures (200–350 °C) and high pressures (10–25 MPa) although recent findings show the benefits of increased pressure at higher temperature regions. Hydrothermal liquefaction is quite robust, and in theory, all wet feedstock, including residues and waste streams, can be processed. The main product is a so-called bio-crude or bio-oil, which is then further upgraded to fuels or chemicals. Hydrothermal liquefaction is currently at pilot/demo stage with several lab reactors and a few pilots already available as well as there are a few demonstration plants under construction. The applied conditions are quite severe for the processing equipment and materials, and several challenges remain before the technology is commercial. In this review, a description is given about the influence of the feedstock, relevant for integration with biological processing, as well as the processing conditions on the hydrothermal process and products composition. In addition, the relevant upgrading methods are presented.
KeywordsHydrothermal liquefaction Biomass Biofuels Bio-oil upgrading
This work was supported by the Research Council of Norway’s scheme for Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research (FME) under the FME Bio4Fuels (project number 257622, duration 2016–2024).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
- Barbier J, Charon N, Dupassieux N, Loppinet-Serani A, Mahé L, Ponthus J, Courtiade M, Ducrozet A, Quoineaud AA, Cansell F (2012) Hydrothermal conversion of lignin compounds. A detailed study of fragmentation and condensation reaction pathways. Biomass Bioenergy 46:479–491. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2012.07.011 Google Scholar
- Bo Z, Hua-Jiang H, Shri R (2008) Reaction Kinetics of the Hydrothermal Treatment of Lignin. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 147 (1-3):119–131. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12010-007-8070-6
- Eckert CA, Chandler K (1998) Tuning fluid solvents for chemical reactions. J Supercrit Fluids 13:187–195Google Scholar
- Elliott DC, Hart TR, Schmidt AJ, Neuenschwander GG, Rotness LJ, Olarte MV, Zacher AH, Albrecht KO, Hallen RT, Holladay JE (2013) Process development for hydrothermal liquefaction of algae feedstocks in a continuous-flow reactor. Algal Res 2(4):445–545. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.algal.2013.08.005 Google Scholar
- Faeth JL, Valdez PJ, Savage PE (2013) Fast hydrothermal liquefaction of Nannochloropsis sp. to produce biocrude. Energy Fuel 27(3):1391–1398. https://doi.org/10.1021/ef301925d
- Hietala DC, Faeth JL, Savage PE (2016) A quantitative kinetic model for the fast and isothermal hydrothermal liquefaction of Nannochloropsis sp. Bioresour Technol 214:102–111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2016.04.067
- Jansen JPD, Marx S, Venter R, Barnard A (2016) The effect of particle size on the quality and yield of batch and continuous hydrothermal liquefaction products. International Conference on Advances in Science, Engineering, Technology and Natural Resources (ICASETNR-16) Nov. 24–25, 2016 Parys (South Africa) https://doi.org/10.15242/IAE.IAE1116482
- Kim KH, Brown RC, Kieffer M, Bai X (2014) Hydrogen-donor-assisted solvent liquefaction of lignin to short-chain alkylphenols using a micro reactor/gas chromatography system. Energy Fuel 28(10):6429–6437. https://doi.org/10.1021/ef501678w
- Licella webpage, http://www.licella.com.au/ Accessed 29 Aug 2018
- Mattsson C, Andersson SI, Belkheiri T, Åmand LE, Olausson L, Vamling L, Theliander H (2016) Using 2D NMR to characterize the structure of the low and high molecular weight fractions of bio-oil obtained from LignoBoost™ kraft lignin depolymerized in subcritical water. Biomass Bioenergy 95:364–377. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2016.09.004 Google Scholar
- Mehmood A, Watson I (2015) Hydrothermal liquefaction and aqueous phase reforming of algal biomass. In: 5th UK algae Conference, Glasgow, UK, 10 Jul 2015Google Scholar
- Ramos-Tercero E, Bertucco A, Brilman W (2015) Process water recycle in hydrothermal liquefaction of microalgae to enhance bio-oil yield. Energy Fuel 29(4):2422–2430. https://doi.org/10.1021/ef502773w
- Servaes K, Vandezande P, Vendamme R, Vanbroekhoven K, Buekenhoudt A, Diels L (2018) Lignin derived fractions—developing performance based chemicals and materials using membrane separation technology. Proceedings of ECO-BIO 2018, Dublin/Ireland, March 2018Google Scholar
- Shuping Z, Yulong W, Mingde Y, Kaleem I, Chun L, Tong J (2010) Production and characterization of bio-oil from hydrothermal liquefaction of microalgae Dunaliella tertiolecta cake. Energy 35(12):5406–5411. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2010.07.013
- Steeper Energy webpage https://steeperenergy.com/ Accessed 29 Aug 2018
- Sudasinghe N, Cort JR, Hallen RT, Olarte MV, Schmidt A, Schaub T (2014) Hydrothermal liquefaction oil and hydrotreated product from pine feedstock characterized by heteronuclear two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy and FT-ICR mass spectrometry. Fuel 137:60–69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2014.07.069 Google Scholar
- Xu C, Etcheverry T (2008) Hydro-liquefaction of woody biomass in sub and supercritical ethanol with iron-based catalysts. Fuel 87(3):335–345. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2007.05.013
- Yu J, Biller P, Mamahkel A, Klemmer M, Becker J, Glasius M, Iversen BB (2017) Catalytic hydrotreatment of bio-crude produced from the hydrothermal liquefaction of aspen wood: a catalyst screening and parameter optimization study. Sustainable Energy Fuels 1:832–841. https://doi.org/10.1039/C7SE00090A Google Scholar