Hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) is a promising technology used for bioenergy conversion from bio-wastes such as sewage sludge, livestock manure, and food waste. To determine the optimum HTC reaction temperature in maximizing the gross energy recovery efficiency of poultry slaughterhouse sludge cake, a pilot-scale HTC reactor was designed and operated under reaction temperatures of 170, 180, 190, 200 and 22 °C. During the HTC reaction, the gross energy recovery efficiency was determined based on the calorific value of the HTC-biochar and ultimate methane potential of the HTC-hydrolysate. The poultry slaughterhouse sludge cake was assessed as a useful source for the bioenergy conversion with a high calorific value of approximately 27.7 MJ/kg. The calorific values of the HTC-biochar increased from 29.6 MJ/kg to 31.3 MJ/kg in accordance with the change in the reaction temperature from 170 °C to 220 °C. The ultimate methane potential of the HTC-hydrolysate was 0.222, 0.242, 0.237, 0.228 and 0.197 Nm3
for the reaction temperatures of 170, 180, 190, 200 and 220 °C, respectively. The potential energy of feedstock was 4.541 MJ/kg. The total gross energy recovery (GERtotal
) was 4318 MJ/kg, of which the maximum value in the HTC reaction temperature was attained at 180 °C. Thus, the optimum temperature of the HTC reaction was 180 °C with a maximum GERtotal
efficiency of 95.1%.
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