Potential opportunities for hydrothermal carbonisation of biomass wastes

Aidan Smith, University of Leeds: PRESENTATION ONLY


Hydothermal Carbonisation (HTC)

Conversion of organic material in hot compressed water at high temperature and pressure (200-250oC, 15-40 bar)

 hydrothermal carbonisation of biomass wastes

 Products are dependent upon process severity

 Simulates natural coal formation to convert biomass into a coal like product Hydrothermal Carbonisation (HTC)

 Utilises changes in the properties of water under hot compressed conditions

 Polar > non-polar solvent

Commercial consideration when handling solid biomass fuels

 Bulk and energy density (GJ/m3 and GJ/tonne)

 You are paid per GJ but logistics are based on mass and volume!

 Moisture content

 increases transport costs

 Reduced energy density

 Storage issues (decomposition, spontaneous combustion, emissions)

 Thermal drying (energy intensive)

 Biomass reabsorbs moisture once dried

 Fuel preparation?

 Cutting, grinding, blending, palletising (energy intensive and difficult with fibrous material)

 Combustion behaviour

 Will it burn?

 Variable quality? (consistency = higher price)

 Slagging and fouling propensity

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