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Hydrothermal conversion of different lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks – Effect of the process conditions on hydrochar structures

Güleç, F; Riesco, LMG; Williams, O; Kostas, ET; Samson, A; Lester, E; (2021) Hydrothermal conversion of different lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks – Effect of the process conditions on hydrochar structures. Fuel , 302 , Article 121166. 10.1016/j.fuel.2021.121166. Green open access

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Abstract

Five biomass feedstocks (Coffee residues, Rice waste, Whitewood, Zilkha black, and Lignin) were hydrothermally processed in a semi-continuous flow rig using 9 different processing conditions (75, 150, 250 °C, and 1, 50, 240 bar). Solid residues produced at low temperature (<150 °C) did not show significant structural changes. At more severe conditions, structural changes could be linked to the lignocellulosic composition and divided into three categories: (i) biomass with higher hemicellulose-cellulose and lower cellulose-lignin structures, (ii) lower hemicellulose-cellulose and higher cellulose-lignin structures, and (iii) only cellulose-lignin structures. Both hemicellulose and cellulose structures in category (i) and (ii) were successfully degraded under subcritical conditions (250 °C and 50 bar) to produce hydrochar with higher lignin content. Biomasses with higher levels of lignin did not show the same degree of transformation. Category (i) produced a low hydrochar yield (39 wt%) due to the degradation of higher hemicellulose-cellulose structures. Category (ii) had higher hydrochar yields (58–62 wt%) due to the lower amount of cellulose and hemicellulose. Category (iii) had the highest hydrochar yields (73–90 wt%) thanks to the lack of hemicellulose and lower cellulosic structures. A novel concept called “displacement”, based on a thermogravimetric profiling method, was used to quantify changes in the pyrolysis behaviour of the hydrochar compared to the original feedstock. The degree of “displacement” correlated with hydrochar yield and reactivity, the highest level of displacement was observed with category (i- higher hemicellulose-cellulose biomasses) while the lowest displacement was observed with category (iii- higher lignin biomasses). This novel technique could be used to quantify the effects of hydrothermal treatment on any given biomass.

Type: Article
Title: Hydrothermal conversion of different lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks – Effect of the process conditions on hydrochar structures
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2021.121166
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2021.121166
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Hydrothermal conversion, Hydrochar, Bioenergy, Lignocellulosic Biomass, Displacement
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Biochemical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10130430
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