Technoeconomic analysis of co-hydrothermal carbonization of coal waste and food waste


The aim of this research was to evaluate the technoeconomic prospect of hydrochar production through co-hydrothermal carbonization of coal waste (CW) and food waste (FW). A process flow diagram was developed that considered seven reactors, six pumps, and other necessary equipment for producing 49,192 kg/h hydrochar. Three different cases were considered for the economic analysis. Case II considered both CW and FW transportation cost while cases I and III considered only FW and only CW transportation, respectively. The economic analysis revealed the break-even costs to be $62.24 per ton for case I, $69.90 per ton for case II, and $60.26 per ton for case III. The fixed capital investment (FCI) was $11.4M for all the cases while total capital investment (TCI), working capital (WC), and manufacturing costs were higher for case II compared to cases I and III. A sensitivity analysis examined the effect of nine different variables on the break-even cost. The raw materials’ cost as well as their transportation costs significantly affected the corresponding break-even cost. Additionally, increasing the hydrochar production capacity has drastically decreased the break-even cost. However, the analysis also revealed that excessive increase of production capacity can have negative impact on the process economics.

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This work was funded by the Ohio Coal Development Office (OCDO R-17-05) and NSF INFEWS 1856058.

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Correspondence to M. Toufiq Reza.

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• Technoeconomic prospect of co-HTC of coal waste and food waste were evaluated.

• Break-even cost varied within $62.24, $69.90, and $60.26 per ton for three separate cases.

• Sensitivity analysis considered nine parameters to analyze the effect on break-even cost.

• Raw material purchasing and transportation cost were key factors in economic analysis.

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Mazumder, S., Saha, P., McGaughy, K. et al. Technoeconomic analysis of co-hydrothermal carbonization of coal waste and food waste. Biomass Conv. Bioref. (2020).

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  • Food waste
  • Coal waste
  • Co-hydrothermal carbonization
  • Technoeconomic analysis
  • Sensitivity analysis