Upgrading hydrothermal liquefaction biocrude derived from lignocellulosicbiomass to drop-in biofuels

Kamaldeep Sharma*, Saqib Toor, Thomas Helmer Pedersen, Lasse Rosendahl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalConference abstract for conferenceResearch


Drop-in biofuels are alternatives to liquid fuels without any modifications in existing fuel infrastructure due to their high compatibility with existing petroleum infrastructure and functional equivalence to fossil fuels. The applicability of lignocellulosic biomass as a promising feedstock for next generation transport fuels has been demonstrated by the successful integration of first generation bioethanol and biodiesel into the existing infrastructure. Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) is a more promising technique for the direct conversion of wet biomass into bio-oils with high conversion rates and improved fuel properties. As a wet processing technology, HTL is generally carried out in aqueous media of at least 50%–60% water, around 280–370°C temperature, and pressures between 10 and 30 MPa, making it very suitable for most natural biomasses and organic residues. However, raw lignocellulosic HTL biocrude is completely unsuitable for application as a fuel due to the high organic oxygen content (10.18 wt%, pinewood), which confers a number of undesirable properties including low stability and high acidity. Furthermore, the large fraction of distillate residue in lignocellulosic derived biocrude creates compatibility issues with the existing transportation fuels while co-processing in refineries. When operating with lignocellulosic biomass, the removal of oxygen becomes a crucial issue, which must be addressed to produce a drop-in biofuels. Mild hydrotreating (deoxygenation) coupled with co-processing in a petroleum refinery represents an alternative to deep hydrotreating which may reduce the cost of hydrocarbon transportation fuels production from the biomass. The present study reports on the effect of different catalysts and reaction severity (operating temperature, reaction time and H2 pressure) on the quality of oil produced via mild hydrotreatment of lignocellulosic (pinewood) HTL biocrude in a micro-batch reactor and continuous hydrotreater to achieve a bio-feed compatible for co-processing in refineries. Detailed speciation of oxygen contents as a function of reaction severity in upgraded oil has been determined using different analytical techniques. Furthermore, the compatibility of upgraded oil at various percentages in straight-run gas oil (SRGO) has been determined via the miscibility studies to insure the maximum drop-in percentages of produced bio-oil in the fossil crudes in order to achieve a co-processing compatible bio-feed. These results shows that mild hydrotreating seem to be a promising path to effectively deoxygenate HTL biocrude for co-processing in refineries.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date3 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2019
Event15th international conference on Renewable resources and biorefineries: RRB2019 - INP Toulose France, Toulose, France
Duration: 3 Jun 20195 Jun 2019


Conference15th international conference on Renewable resources and biorefineries
LocationINP Toulose France
Internet address


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