Integration of hydrothermal liquefaction and carbon capture and storage for the production of advanced liquid biofuels with negative CO2 emissions

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The technical and economic feasibility to deliver sustainable liquid biocrude through hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) while enabling negative carbon dioxide emissions is evaluated in this paper, looking into the potential of the process in the context of negative emission technologies (NETs) for climate change mitigation. In the HTL process, a gas phase consisting mainly of carbon dioxide is obtained as a side product driving a potential for the implementation of carbon capture and storage in the process (BECCS) that has not been explored yet in the existing literature and is undertaken in this study. To this end, the process is divided in a “standard” HTL base and a carbon capture add-on, having forestry residues as feedstock. The Selexol™ technology is adapted in a novel scheme to simultaneously separate the CO2 from the HTL gas and recover the excess hydrogen for biocrude upgrading. The cost evaluation indicates that the additional cost of the carbon capture can be compensated by revenues from the excess process heat and the European carbon allowance market. The impact in the MFSP of the HTL base case ranges from −7% to 3%, with −15% in the most favorable scenario, with a GHG emissions reduction potential of 102–113% compared to the fossil baseline. These results show that the implementation of CCS in the HTL process is a promising alternative from technical, economic and environmental perspective in future scenarios in which advanced liquid biofuels and NETs are expected to play a role in the decarbonization of the energy system.
Original languageEnglish
Article number115753
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant no. 765515 (Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN, ENSYSTRA) and grant no. 727531 (4refinery).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Advanced biofuels
  • Hydrothermal liquefaction
  • Negative emission technologies
  • Techno-economic analysis

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