Fundamentals of Hydrofaction™: Renewable crude oil from woody biomass

Claus Uhrenholt Jensen, Julie Katerine Rodriguez Guerrero, Sergios Karatzos, Göran Olofsson, Steen Brummerstedt Iversen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

43 Citationer (Scopus)


As a response to the global requirement for renewable transportation fuels that are economically viable and fungible with existing petroleum infrastructure, Steeper Energy is commercializing its proprietary hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) technology as a potential path to sustainable lignocellulosic-derived transport fuels. Hydrofaction™ utilizes high-density, supercritical water chemistry at distinctly higher pressures and temperatures than most literature on HTL. The paper presents a direct relation between density and the chemical properties that make near-critical water an appealing HTL reaction medium. Further, the fundamentals of Hydrofaction™ and how these are carefully chosen to favor certain chemical reaction paths are explained, including the use of high-density supercritical water, homogenous alkaline metal catalysts at alkaline conditions and recycling of aqueous and oil products. Steady state operational data from a campaign producing 1 barrel (>150 kg) of oil at a dedicated pilot plant is presented, including closure of mass, energy, and three elemental balances. A detailed oil assay specifying the oil quality as well as mass and energy recoveries from wood to oil of 45.3 wt.%and 85.6%, respectively, reflect that Hydrofaction™ is an energy-efficient technology for sourcing renewable biofuels in tangible volumes.
TidsskriftBiomass Conversion and Biorefinery
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)495-509
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2017
Udgivet eksterntJa


  • Hydrofaction(TM)
  • Hydrothermal liquefaction
  • Supercritical water
  • Biofuel
  • Renewable oil

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