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Title: Hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass: Developments from batch to continuous process

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Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Bioresource Technology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 178; Journal Issue: C; Related Information: CHORUS Timestamp: 2017-05-30 15:56:58; Journal ID: ISSN 0960-8524
Country of Publication:
United Kingdom

Citation Formats

Elliott, Douglas C., Biller, Patrick, Ross, Andrew B., Schmidt, Andrew J., and Jones, Susanne B.. Hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass: Developments from batch to continuous process. United Kingdom: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2014.09.132.
Elliott, Douglas C., Biller, Patrick, Ross, Andrew B., Schmidt, Andrew J., & Jones, Susanne B.. Hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass: Developments from batch to continuous process. United Kingdom. doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2014.09.132.
Elliott, Douglas C., Biller, Patrick, Ross, Andrew B., Schmidt, Andrew J., and Jones, Susanne B.. 2015. "Hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass: Developments from batch to continuous process". United Kingdom. doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2014.09.132.
title = {Hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass: Developments from batch to continuous process},
author = {Elliott, Douglas C. and Biller, Patrick and Ross, Andrew B. and Schmidt, Andrew J. and Jones, Susanne B.},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.1016/j.biortech.2014.09.132},
journal = {Bioresource Technology},
number = C,
volume = 178,
place = {United Kingdom},
year = 2015,
month = 2

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1016/j.biortech.2014.09.132

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 146works
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  • This review describes the recent results in hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of biomass in continuous-flow processing systems. Although much has been published about batch reactor tests of biomass HTL, there is only limited information yet available on continuous-flow tests, which can provide a more reasonable basis for process design and scale-up for commercialization. High-moisture biomass feedstocks are the most likely to be used in HTL. These materials are described and results of their processing are discussed. Engineered systems for HTL are described however they are of limited size and do not yet approach a demonstration scale of operation. With the resultsmore » available process models have been developed and mass and energy balances determined. From these models process costs have been calculated and provide some optimism as to the commercial likelihood of the technology.« less
  • Wet algae slurries can be converted into an upgradeable biocrude by hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL). High levels of carbon conversion to gravity-separable biocrude product were accomplished at relatively low temperature (350 °C) in a continuous-flow, pressurized (sub-critical liquid water) environment (20 MPa). As opposed to earlier work in batch reactors reported by others, direct oil recovery was achieved without the use of a solvent and biomass trace components were removed by processing steps so that they did not cause process difficulties. High conversions were obtained even with high slurry concentrations of up to 35 wt% of dry solids. Catalytic hydrotreating wasmore » effectively applied for hydrodeoxygenation, hydrodenitrogenation, and hydrodesulfurization of the biocrude to form liquid hydrocarbon fuel. Catalytic hydrothermal gasification was effectively applied for HTL byproduct water cleanup and fuel gas production from water soluble organics, allowing the water to be considered for recycle of nutrients to the algae growth ponds. As a result, high conversion of algae to liquid hydrocarbon and gas products was found with low levels of organic contamination in the byproduct water. All three process steps were accomplished in bench-scale, continuous-flow reactor systems such that design data for process scale-up was generated.« less
  • A continuous liquefaction unit for the production of wood oil from aqueous slurries of prehydrolyzed Douglas fir at 330-360/sup 0/C in the presence of reducing gas has been successfully operated since July, 1981. Significant differences in yields and product distribution between this process and an oil-based, recycle process are noted, the former making less wood oil and more water-soluble organics. Higher temperatures lead to a lower molecular-weight oil of lower oxygen content. Carbon monoxide and hydrogen are equally effective reducing gases. Progress in characterizing oil and water-soluble organics is described.
  • A series of experimental work was conducted to convert woody biomass to gasoline and diesel range products via hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) and catalytic hydroprocessing. Based on the best available test data, a techno-economic analysis (TEA) was developed for a large scale woody biomass based HTL and upgrading system to evaluate the feasibility of this technology. In this system, 2000 dry metric ton per day woody biomass was assumed to be converted to bio-oil in hot compressed water and the bio-oil was hydrotreated and/or hydrocracked to produce gasoline and diesel range liquid fuel. Two cases were evaluated: a stage-of-technology (SOT) casemore » based on the tests results, and a goal case considering potential improvements based on the SOT case. Process simulation models were developed and cost analysis was implemented based on the performance results. The major performance results included final products and co-products yields, raw materials consumption, carbon efficiency, and energy efficiency. The overall efficiency (higher heating value basis) was 52% for the SOT case and 66% for the goal case. The production cost, with a 10% internal rate of return and 2007 constant dollars, was estimated to be $1.29 /L for the SOT case and $0.74 /L for the goal case. The cost impacts of major improvements for moving from the SOT to the goal case were evaluated and the assumption of reducing the organics loss to the water phase lead to the biggest reduction in the production cost. Sensitivity analysis indicated that the final products yields had the largest impact on the production cost compared to other parameters. Plant size analysis demonstrated that the process was economically attractive if the woody biomass feed rate was over 1,500 dry tonne/day, the production cost was competitive with the then current petroleum-based gasoline price.« less