Energize New Mexico


Bioalgal Energy

Award Number


Document Type



Currently, hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of wet biomass for biofuel production shows significant advantages over other thermos-conversion techniques, owing to higher productivity and quality of biocrude oil, no need of feedstock dewatering, and higher adaptability to the existing infrastructure of petroleum refinery. To investigate the feasibility of scaling up of HTL reaction, in this study, a pilot-scale continuous flow reactor (CFR) was built up and modified for HTL of biomass slurry under water subcritical conditions. A novel dual high-pressure filters system was introduced in this CFR system, with the functions of HTL solids removal and self-refreshing. Commissioning work was carried out to address the problems of particle settling and clogging with pumping and running 2-5 wt.% wastewater treatment (WWT) algae in the CFR system under milder conditions (≤165 °C). According to the result of residence time distribution of CFR system, the discrepancy between the mean residue time and the theoretical time was lower than 1%. The performance of CFR system was evaluated via steadily running 8.3 gallons WWT algae slurry with the solids loading of 3-5 wt.% under 325-350 °C and 17 MPa, and no pumping or clogging issue was observed. The yields of carbon and nitrogen in HTL liquid (containing aqueous and oily phases) reached up to 39 wt.% and 57.3 wt.%, respectively.


Article Location