Hydrothermal Liquefaction for Biomass

Biofuels offer an alternative to fossil fuels but suffer in efficiency due to their high production cost. With the increasing cost of municipal solid waste (MSW) as well as the heightened public awareness of fossil fuels on the environment, a growing need for competitive solutions to fossil fuels exists. Manufacturing of biofuels entails conversion of the non-recyclable organic fraction of MSW into a bio-oil that can be used similarly to fossil fuels.

This invention proposes a solution to reduce the production cost of biofuels by using catalytic hydrothermal liquefaction. Hydrothermal liquefaction involves the addition of a solvent to extract sugars from the waste. These water-soluble sugars are then converted into oil soluble products in one reactor and converted to carbon-enriched oil in a second reactor. Creation of biofuel in this manner minimizes the residence time of the products passed into the reactors, making production more efficient and techno-economically feasible.

Key Features/Benefits

  • Reduces production time of biofuel to minutes
  • Maximizes use for municipal solid waste
Faculty/PhD/Staff Inventor(s)
Alex Maag
Research Category
Advanced Materials Manufacturing & Mobility
Patent Status
Case Number