Hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) is considered as an efficient and constantly expanding eco-friendly methodology for thermochemical processing of high moisture waste biomass into solid biofuels and valuable carbonaceous materials. However, during HTC, a considerable amount of organics, initially present in the feedstock, are found in the process water (PW). PW recirculation is attracting an increasing interest in the hydrothermal process field as it offers the potential to increase the carbon recovery yield while increasing hydrochar energy density. PW recirculation can be considered as a viable method for the valorization and reuse of the HTC aqueous phase, both by reducing the amount of additional water used for the process and maximizing energy recovery from the HTC liquid residual fraction. In this work, the effects of PW recirculation, for different starting waste biomasses, on the properties of hydrochars and liquid phase products are reviewed. The mechanism of production and evolution of hydrochar during recirculation steps are discussed, highlighting the possible pathways which could enhance energy and carbon recovery. Challenges of PW recirculation are presented and research opportunities proposed, showing how PW recirculation could increase the economic viability of the process while contributing in mitigating environmental impacts.

Process Water Recirculation during Hydrothermal Carbonization of Waste Biomass: Current Knowledge and Challenges

Picone, Antonio;Volpe, Maurizio;Messineo, Antonio
2021-01-01

Abstract

Hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) is considered as an efficient and constantly expanding eco-friendly methodology for thermochemical processing of high moisture waste biomass into solid biofuels and valuable carbonaceous materials. However, during HTC, a considerable amount of organics, initially present in the feedstock, are found in the process water (PW). PW recirculation is attracting an increasing interest in the hydrothermal process field as it offers the potential to increase the carbon recovery yield while increasing hydrochar energy density. PW recirculation can be considered as a viable method for the valorization and reuse of the HTC aqueous phase, both by reducing the amount of additional water used for the process and maximizing energy recovery from the HTC liquid residual fraction. In this work, the effects of PW recirculation, for different starting waste biomasses, on the properties of hydrochars and liquid phase products are reviewed. The mechanism of production and evolution of hydrochar during recirculation steps are discussed, highlighting the possible pathways which could enhance energy and carbon recovery. Challenges of PW recirculation are presented and research opportunities proposed, showing how PW recirculation could increase the economic viability of the process while contributing in mitigating environmental impacts.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11387/146102
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