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Reference Number EP/F061374/1
Status Completed
Energy Categories RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES(Bio-Energy, Production of transport biofuels (incl. Production from wastes)) 100%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Chemistry) 50%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Chemical Engineering) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr JM Jones
No email address given
Energy Resources Research Unit
University of Leeds
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 April 2008
End Date 30 September 2009
Duration 18 months
Total Grant Value £135,848
Industrial Sectors No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Region Yorkshire & Humberside
Programme Energy Multidisciplinary Applications, Energy Research Capacity
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr JM Jones , Energy Resources Research Unit, University of Leeds (99.999%)
  Other Investigator Professor DD Mara , Civil Engineering, University of Leeds (0.001%)
Web Site
Abstract Many new technologies are being investigated currently for their potential to supplement fuels from fossil resources. Hydrothermal liquefaction is one such route for converting solid biomass into a biocrude oil. Potentially the oil has several advantages over solid biomass. It has a much higher energy content and a higher density, and these factors, together with its liquid nature, means thatit is easier to transport using existing oil networks. It also has properties more similar to a heavy crude oil and so can be upgraded to more useful liquid fuels, such as bio-diesel. Some valuable chemicals are produced concurrently, which could influence favourably the economics of the process. The process itself involves heating biomass in superheated water. Under these conditions the wateris able to react with the biomass and the products are gas, biocrude oil, solid char, and a water phase. Because the process is conducted in water it is not necessary to dry the biomass (an expensive step for other bioenergy technologies), and wet feedstocks, such as algae, are ideal. There is an added advantage here in that it opens the possibility of extending the "land" area available to grow biomass to costal marine environments. There are still several challanges to address before hydrothermal liquefaction can be proved commercially. The most important is to improve the viscosity of the biocrude so that it can be transported more easily. This work seeks to understandsome of the fundamental chemistry of the process and also will explore two novel approaches to improve the biocrude viscosity - firstly, the role of inherent minerals in the process, and secondly, the advantages to be gained from blending feedstocks. These two factors could have a major influence on the bio-crude quality and therefore its commercial realisatio
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 19/02/08