Hydrothermal co-liquefaction of crop residue and plastic waste for sustainable production of oil and hydrochar

B. Maddipudi, K. Huynh, V. Amar, A. Shende, G. Bauer, R. Shende
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology,
United States

Keywords: crop residue, plastic waste, HTL, co-liquefaction, oil/char, ASPEN modeling


Globally, as the CO2 emission is increasing steadily, it is critical to decarbonize the energy production; and in this context biofuels are vital. Additionally, plastic pollution is one of the pressing environmental issues. In this study, crop residue and plastic waste were co-liquefied via hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) processing, which was performed in a high temperature high pressure reactor at 250 – 300 oC. Effect of reaction parameters such as solids loading, temperature, pressure, and catalyst was investigated with respect to the yield and quality of different products. Specifically, yield and heating value of oil and char were analyzed and compared under different experimental conditions. From the water conservation viewpoint, aqueous waste was recycled multiple times and different products were quantified. Interestingly, recycling was found to increase the oil yield. Oil with 35 MJ/kg was used to prepare blend fuels whereas char was valorized via activation methods to achieve mesoporous carbon with specific surface area >2000 m2/g. In addition, ASPEN modeling was performed to scale-up HTL biomass processing at 1 tpd. Technology concept, processing, characterization of products, and ASPEN modeling results will be presented.