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Experimental evaluation of a new approach for a two-stage hydrothermal biomass liquefaction process

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Klemm, M., Kröger, M., Görsch, K., Lange, R., Hilpmann, G., Lali, F., et al. (2020). Experimental evaluation of a new approach for a two-stage hydrothermal biomass liquefaction process. Energies, 13(14): 3692. doi:10.3390/en13143692.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-C109-6
Abstract
A new approach for biomass liquefaction was developed and evaluated in a joint research project. Focus of the project, called FEBio@H2O, lies on a two-step hydrothermal conversion. Within step 1, the input biomass is converted employing a hydrothermal degradation without added catalyst or by homogeneous catalysis. Within step 2, the hydrogen accepting products of step 1, e.g., levulinic acid (LA) are upgraded by a heterogeneously catalyzed hydrogenation with hydrogen donor substances, e.g., formic acid (FA). As a result, components with an even lower oxygen content in comparison to step 1 products are formed; as an example, γ-valerolactone (GVL) can be named. Therefore, the products are more stable and contained less oxygen as requested for a possible application as liquid fuel. As a hydrothermal process, FEBio@H2O is especially suitable for highly water-containing feedstock. The evaluation involves hydrothermal conversion tests with model substances, degradation of real biomasses, transfer hydrogenation or hydrogenation with hydrogen donor of model substances and real products of step 1, catalyst selection and further development, investigation of the influence of reactor design, the experimental test of the whole process chain, and process assessment.