Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India
Danam Mahesh pursuing his MS by Research at Indian Institute of Technology Chennai, India. He has done three projects on hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass to produce bio-crude. He has submitted two papers to “FUEL” and “Journal of cleaner production” journals.
Biomass is a promising feedstock for the production of bio-crude or bio-oil through thermo-chemical processes. Hydrothermal Liquefaction (HTL) is one of the foremost techniques for the production of bio-crude from moisture-rich biomass and waste feedstock compared to pyrolysis. Typically, HTL employs water at its sub-critical conditions (300-374oC, 180-200 bars) to liquefy biomass.
In this study, the HTL technique is utilized to convert landfill Municipal Solid Wastes (MSW) to bio-crude. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to report HTL of unsegregated feedstock such as MSW. The HTL experiments were initially conducted with water as solvent at different temperatures and residence times in a stirred tank autoclave reactor of 1.3 L capacity. Typically, MSW (size: 4.75 - 1.5 mm) and 300 mL of solvent (water + glycerol) were added in the reactor and pressurized with nitrogen gas. The yield of bio-crude increased from 15.2 wt. % (with water as solvent) to 58 wt. % (with water: glycerol as solvent). The energy content of the bio-crude was 37.5 MJ/kg at 350 oC and 30 min. The obtained bio-crude can be upgraded to transportation fuels after a mild hydrotreating process. Thus, HTL is shown to be a feasible process to valorize MSW to high-quality bio-crude.