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Hydrothermal liquefaction and upgrading (biodiesel)


Technology Description

In hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) (also called catalytic hydrothermolysis, CHJ) , biomass decomposes into gases and bio-oil using water under high pressure (150 to 350 bar) and high temperature (250 - 450 °C), often in the presence of an alkali catalyst. A variety of biomass can be used and the biomass does not need to be dry, an advantage over pyrolysis and other thermochemical conversion processes. The bio-oil is separated from the gaseous and aqueous products, and can then be refined into high quality fuel such as diesel using typical petroleum refining processes. It can be co-fed with fossil-based oil into refineries. As this version of bio-oil has lower oxygen content than pyrolysis oil, it can be blended into heavy fuel oil for use in the shipping industry. HTL with upgrading is a American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)-certified sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) pathway, allowed to be blended up to 50%.

Relevance for Net Zero

There are alternative biofuels available at higher TRL.

Key Countries


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