Demineralization of miscanthus biocrude obtained from catalytic hydrothermal liquefaction: Conditioning through acid washing

Muhammad Salman Haider, Mehmed Akif Isik, Daniele Castello*, Thomas Helmer Pedersen, Lasse Aistrup Rosendahl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In this contribution, we successfully applied demineralization (i.e., solvent-assisted separation and acid washing) for the removal of carbonaceous solids and inorganics from a biocrude obtained from the catalytic hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of Miscanthus. The experimental results of all six employed acids showed that 0.1 M H2SO4was the most effective and significantly reduced metallic (Fe by 93.9%, <15 µg/g and Mg by 95.6%, 2.1 µg/g) and ash content (by 92.7% to 337 µg/g) from the already filtered biocrude. The utilized demineralizing agents caused a loss of nitrogen and of organic carbon (1% total organic carbon (TOC) and 0.058% total nitrogen (TN) in 0.1 M H2SO4). Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC–MS) results clarified the nature of this loss, showing that 54% of ketones and 39% of alcohols were removed when 0.1 M H2SO4was employed. Furthermore, FT-IR spectra remained the same before and after acid washing without affecting any functional groups. This work therefore proposes demineralization as a viable route for the removal of high inorganic content from lignocellulosic HTL biocrudes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1035
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement no. 764734 (HyFlexFuel).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Acid wash-ing
  • Demineralization
  • Hydrothermal liquefaction
  • Miscanthus biocrude
  • Solvent-assisted separation


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