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Special Issue "Thermochemical Biorefining"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 January 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Lasse Rosendahl

The Faculty of Engineering and Science, Department of Energy Technology Pontoppidanstræde 111 room 1.134 9220 Aalborg Ø Denmark
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +45 9940 9263
Fax: 9815 1411
Interests: biofuels; thermochemical processes; hydrothermal liquefaction; thermoelectric devices

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Thermochemical biorefining holds enormous potential for sustainable production of carbonaceous chemicals and fuels; sustainable in terms of economic, environmental and resource efficiency. Within this scope, virtually all organic streams, be they wet/dry, virgin/residual, aquatic/terrestrial, flora/fauna-derived can be processed alone or in mixtures to intermediate platform chemicals and precursors, intermediate fuel products, such as syngas or bio-oils and, from there, efficiently converted to synthetic hydrocarbons or higher alcohols. However, challenges in implementation, process understanding, design and upscaling, identifying and alleviating bottlenecks in process flows, exist within all, as do significant challenges in establishing and documentating sustainability in its full meaning.

The scope of this Special Issue is to present the state-of-the-art within sustainable thermochemical biorefining for fuels and chemicals, and to highlight opportunities within sustainable processing realisable by these pathways.

Prof. Lasse Rosendahl
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Thermochemical biorefining
  • Hydrothermal liquefaction
  • Pyrolysis
  • Gasification
  • Fischer-Tropsch
  • Synthetic fuels
  • Circular economy
  • Bioeconomy
  • Sustainability
  • Life cycle analysis
  • Biofuels
  • Biochemicals
  • Direct thermochemical liquefaction
  • Drop-in biofuels

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Mild Hydrothermal Liquefaction of High Water Content Agricultural Residue for Bio-Crude Oil Production: A Parametric Study
Energies 2018, 11(11), 3129; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11113129
Received: 18 September 2018 / Revised: 6 November 2018 / Accepted: 6 November 2018 / Published: 12 November 2018
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Abstract
Depleting petroleum reserves together with the associated environmental concerns have intensified the exploration of alternatives to petroleum. Wet food processing wastes present promising bioresources for liquid fuel production via hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) followed by additional upgrading. In this study, tomato plant waste (TPW)
[...] Read more.
Depleting petroleum reserves together with the associated environmental concerns have intensified the exploration of alternatives to petroleum. Wet food processing wastes present promising bioresources for liquid fuel production via hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) followed by additional upgrading. In this study, tomato plant waste (TPW) was utilized as a feedstock for the production of bio-crude oils via HTL at medium-temperature (220–280 °C) in water or a water–ethanol (17/3, v/v) medium in a 600 mL autoclave reactor. Effects of various operating parameters, such as catalysts (H2SO4 or KOH), reaction time (15–60 min) and reaction temperature (220–280 °C) on product yields were investigated. This study showed that a high yield (45.1 wt%) of bio-crude oil was achieved from HTL of TPW in water–ethanol medium at 250 °C in the presence of acid catalyst H2SO4. The oil, gas and solid residue (SR) products were analyzed for their chemical and structural properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermochemical Biorefining)
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Open AccessArticle Continuous Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Biomass in a Novel Pilot Plant with Heat Recovery and Hydraulic Oscillation
Energies 2018, 11(10), 2695; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11102695
Received: 25 July 2018 / Revised: 28 September 2018 / Accepted: 2 October 2018 / Published: 10 October 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1740 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) is regarded as a promising technology for the production of biofuels from biomass and wastes. As such, there is a drive towards continuous-flow processing systems to aid process scale-up and eventually commercialization. The current study presents results from a novel
[...] Read more.
Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) is regarded as a promising technology for the production of biofuels from biomass and wastes. As such, there is a drive towards continuous-flow processing systems to aid process scale-up and eventually commercialization. The current study presents results from a novel pilot-scale HTL reactor with a feed capacity of up to 100 L/h and a process volume of approximately 20 L. The pilot plant employs a heat exchanger for heat recovery and a novel hydraulic oscillation system to increase the turbulence in the tubular reactor. The energy grass Miscanthus and the microalgae Spirulina, both representing advanced dedicated energy crops, as well as sewage sludge as high-potential waste stream were selected to assess the reactor performance. Biomass slurries with up to 16 wt% dry matter content were successfully processed. The heat recovery of the heat exchanger is found to increase with reactor run time, reaching 80% within 5–6 h of operation. The hydraulic oscillation system is shown to improve mixing and enhance heat transfer. Bio-crudes with average yields of 26 wt%, 33 wt% and 25 wt% were produced from Miscanthus, Spirulina and sewage sludge, respectively. The yields also appeared to increase with reactor run time. Bio-crude from HTL of Spirulina was mainly composed of palmitic acid, glycerol, heptadecane and linolelaidic acid, while biocrude from sewage sludge contained mainly palmitic acid, oleic acid and stearic acid. In contrast, biocrude from HTL of Miscanthus consisted of a large number of different phenolics. An energetic comparison between the three feedstocks revealed a thermal efficiency of 47%, 47% and 33% and energy return on investment (EROI) of 2.8, 3.3 and 0.5 for HTL of Miscanthus, Spirulina and sewage sludge, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermochemical Biorefining)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Continuous Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Biomass: A Critical Review
Energies 2018, 11(11), 3165; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11113165
Received: 3 October 2018 / Revised: 10 November 2018 / Accepted: 12 November 2018 / Published: 15 November 2018
PDF Full-text (3243 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of biomass is emerging as an effective technology to efficiently valorize different types of (wet) biomass feedstocks, ranging from lignocellulosics to algae and organic wastes. Significant research into HTL has been conducted in batch systems, which has provided a fundamental
[...] Read more.
Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of biomass is emerging as an effective technology to efficiently valorize different types of (wet) biomass feedstocks, ranging from lignocellulosics to algae and organic wastes. Significant research into HTL has been conducted in batch systems, which has provided a fundamental understanding of the different process conditions and the behavior of different biomass. The next step towards continuous plants, which are prerequisites for an industrial implementation of the process, has been significantly less explored. In order to facilitate a more focused future development, this review—based on the sources available in the open literature—intends to present the state of the art in the field of continuous HTL as well as to suggest means of interpretation of data from such plants. This contributes to a more holistic understanding of causes and effects, aiding next generation designs as well as pinpointing research focus. Additionally, the documented experiences in upgrading by catalytic hydrotreating are reported. The study reveals some interesting features in terms of energy densification versus the yield of different classes of feedstocks, indicating that some global limitations exist irrespective of processing implementations. Finally, techno-economic considerations, observations and remarks for future studies are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermochemical Biorefining)
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Open AccessReview A Review of Microwave Assisted Liquefaction of Lignin in Hydrogen Donor Solvents: Effect of Solvents and Catalysts
Energies 2018, 11(11), 2877; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11112877
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 14 October 2018 / Accepted: 18 October 2018 / Published: 24 October 2018
PDF Full-text (272 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Lignin, a renewable source of aromatic chemicals in nature, has attracted increasing attention due to its structure and application prospect. Catalytic solvolysis has developed as a promising method for the production of value-added products from lignin. The liquefaction process is closely associated with
[...] Read more.
Lignin, a renewable source of aromatic chemicals in nature, has attracted increasing attention due to its structure and application prospect. Catalytic solvolysis has developed as a promising method for the production of value-added products from lignin. The liquefaction process is closely associated with heating methods, catalysts and solvents. Microwave assisted lignin liquefaction in hydrogen donor solvent with the presence of catalysts has been confirmed to be effective to promote the production of liquid fuels or fine chemicals. A great number of researchers should be greatly appreciated on account of their contributions on the progress of microwave technology in lignin liquefaction. In this study, microwave assisted liquefaction of lignin in a hydrogen donor solvent is extensively overviewed, concerning the effect of different solvents and catalysts. This review concludes that microwave assisted liquefaction is a promising technology for the valorization of lignin, which could reduce the reaction time, decrease the reaction temperature, and finally fulfill the utilization of lignin in a relatively mild condition. In the future, heterogeneous catalysts with high catalytic activity and stability need to be prepared to achieve the need for large-scale production of high-quality fuels and value-added chemicals from lignin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermochemical Biorefining)

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Continuous Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Biomass: A Critical Review
Authors: Daniele Castello 1, Thomas Helmer Pedersen 1 and Lasse Aistrup Rosendahl 1,*
Affiliation:
1 Department of Energy Technology, Aalborg University, Pontoppidanstræde 111, 9220 Aalborg Øst, Denmark; [email protected] (D.C.); [email protected] (T.H.P.)
*Correspondence: [email protected]; Tel.: +45-2145-1114
Abstract: Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of biomass is emerging as an effective technology to efficiently valorize different types of (wet) biomass feedstocks, ranging from lignocellulosics to algae and organic wastes. Significant research into HTL has been conducted in batch systems, which has provided a fundamental understanding of the different process conditions and the behavior of different biomass. The next step towards continuous plants, which are prerequisites for an industrial implementation of the process, has been significantly less explored. In order to facilitate a more focused future development, this review – based on the sources available in the open literature – intends to present the state of the art in the field of continuous HTL as well as to suggest means of interpretation of data from such plants. This contributes to a more holistic understanding of causes and effects, aiding next generation designs as well as pinpointing research focus. Additionally, the documented experiences in upgrading by catalytic hydrotreating are reported. The study reveals some interesting features in terms of energy densification versus yield of different classes of feedstocks, indicating that some global limitations exist irrespective of processing implementations. Finally, techno-economic considerations, observations and remarks for future studies are presented.
Keywords: HTL; continuous processes; biocrude; upgrading
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