Hydrothermal Carbonization: Technical Overview and Advantages

Introduction to Hydrothermal Carbonization (HTC)
1. Technical Overview and Advantages
2. Utilization of the HTC Biocokes
3. Utilization of the Process Water

1. Technical Overview and Advantages

A New Possibility for Biomass Utilization

Because cattle manure and other wet biomass like bark, grass, and agricultural waste have substantial water content, these must be dried before use by means of mechanical power or heat input. This necessitates costs and fuel input, thereby either abandoned or sent to incineration or landfill sites to avoid said costs. In the case of Japanese forestry, branches, leaves, and roots are often left behind in the forest and bark sent to incinerators due to the scale of economy and its negative affects on the efficiency of smaller, on-site boilers and wood drying steamers.

If it is possible to simply convert the wet biomass into useable form without worrying about the water content, efficiency would greatly improve for not only energy output, but how the resources is managed. This can be achieved by Hydrothermal Carbonization (HTC」), which is based on the most basic geological and natural laws and principles of thermal conversion, but only commercialized in these few years.

Video: The process of Hydrothermal Carbonization (HTC)

Also, while conventional carbonization methods rely mostly on pyrolysis in environments between 600 and 1300 degrees Celsius in anticipation of dioxins, HTC takes place in temperatures under 230 degrees and a pressure of 2-2.5mpa. While this is an effective temperature to remove any pathogens, hormones, and antibiotics, it HTC relies on hydrolysis to effectively separate water and carbon content of the feedstock material. The base module reactor fits in a 40 foots container and is low-maintenance and effectively captures almost 100% of the carbon content, allowing energy rich “biocoal” or “biocokes” to be produced from a mixture of wet biomass with a water content between 50-70%.


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Next: 2. Utilization of the HTC Biocokes