IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Techno-economic assessment of the by-products contribution from non-catalytic hydrothermal liquefaction of lignocellulose residues


  • Magdeldin, Mohamed
  • Kohl, Thomas
  • Järvinen, Mika


Hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass continues to show promise in experimental and pilot scale tests for carbon partitioning toward desirable multi-phase organic products. Results from a techno-economic investigation are presented for a commercial scale stand-alone plant with primary production of renewable liquid fuels compatible with current transportation infrastructure. The plant feedstock was forest residues and the non-catalytic hydrothermal conditions were set to 330 °C and 210 bar. A sequential flowsheet was developed and simulated on Aspen Plus® that includes pre-treatment, hydrothermal liquefaction, fuel upgrading and residue recovery functional blocks. Different scenarios for the valorization of the liquefaction residue streams are examined to maximize organic recovery and eliminate process waste streams. The highest plant thermal efficiency on lower heating value basis was recorded for the polygeneration of renewable liquid fuels, Bio-char and hydrogen gas at 85.2%. The plant recorded a minimum selling price of 66 € per MWh of co-products. The break-even prices of the co-products under existing market conditions was found to be 1.03 € per kg of gasoline or 2.46 € per kg of hydrogen gas or 51.4 € per MWh of Bio-char.

Suggested Citation

  • Magdeldin, Mohamed & Kohl, Thomas & Järvinen, Mika, 2017. "Techno-economic assessment of the by-products contribution from non-catalytic hydrothermal liquefaction of lignocellulose residues," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 679-695.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:137:y:2017:i:c:p:679-695
    DOI: 10.1016/

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Zhu, Yunhua & Biddy, Mary J. & Jones, Susanne B. & Elliott, Douglas C. & Schmidt, Andrew J., 2014. "Techno-economic analysis of liquid fuel production from woody biomass via hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) and upgrading," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 384-394.
    2. Ail, Snehesh Shivananda & Dasappa, S., 2016. "Biomass to liquid transportation fuel via Fischer Tropsch synthesis – Technology review and current scenario," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 267-286.
    3. Toor, Saqib Sohail & Rosendahl, Lasse & Rudolf, Andreas, 2011. "Hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass: A review of subcritical water technologies," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 2328-2342.
    4. Mohamed Magdeldin & Thomas Kohl & Cataldo De Blasio & Mika Järvinen & Song Won Park & Reinaldo Giudici, 2016. "The BioSCWG Project: Understanding the Trade-Offs in the Process and Thermal Design of Hydrogen and Synthetic Natural Gas Production," Energies, MDPI, vol. 9(10), pages 1-27, October.
    5. Jerome A. Ramirez & Richard J. Brown & Thomas J. Rainey, 2015. "A Review of Hydrothermal Liquefaction Bio-Crude Properties and Prospects for Upgrading to Transportation Fuels," Energies, MDPI, vol. 8(7), pages 1-30, July.
    6. Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare,, 2016. "Horticultural Statistics at a Glance 2015," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199466726.
    7. Xiu, Shuangning & Shahbazi, Abolghasem, 2012. "Bio-oil production and upgrading research: A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(7), pages 4406-4414.
    8. Mahmood, Russell & Parshetti, Ganesh K. & Balasubramanian, Rajasekhar, 2016. "Energy, exergy and techno-economic analyses of hydrothermal oxidation of food waste to produce hydro-char and bio-oil," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 187-198.
    9. Kohl, Thomas & Teles, Moises & Melin, Kristian & Laukkanen, Timo & Järvinen, Mika & Park, Song Won & Guidici, Reinaldo, 2015. "Exergoeconomic assessment of CHP-integrated biomass upgrading," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 290-305.
    10. Demirbas, Ayhan, 2011. "Competitive liquid biofuels from biomass," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 17-28, January.
    11. Akhtar, Javaid & Amin, Nor Aishah Saidina, 2011. "A review on process conditions for optimum bio-oil yield in hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 1615-1624, April.
    12. Dimitriadis, Athanasios & Bezergianni, Stella, 2017. "Hydrothermal liquefaction of various biomass and waste feedstocks for biocrude production: A state of the art review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 68(P1), pages 113-125.
    13. John H. J. Einmahl & Laurens Haan & Chen Zhou, 2016. "Statistics of heteroscedastic extremes," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 78(1), pages 31-51, January.
    14. Pearce, Matthew & Shemfe, Mobolaji & Sansom, Christopher, 2016. "Techno-economic analysis of solar integrated hydrothermal liquefaction of microalgae," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 19-26.
    15. Hognon, Céline & Delrue, Florian & Boissonnet, Guillaume, 2015. "Energetic and economic evaluation of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii hydrothermal liquefaction and pyrolysis through thermochemical models," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 93(P1), pages 31-40.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Ramirez, Jerome A. & Brown, Richard & Rainey, Thomas J., 2018. "Techno-economic analysis of the thermal liquefaction of sugarcane bagasse in ethanol to produce liquid fuels," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 224(C), pages 184-193.
    2. Nie, Yuhao & Bi, Xiaotao T., 2018. "Techno-economic assessment of transportation biofuels from hydrothermal liquefaction of forest residues in British Columbia," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 464-475.
    3. Douwe F. A. van der Kroft & Jeroen F. J. Pruyn, 2021. "A Study into the Availability, Costs and GHG Reduction in Drop-In Biofuels for Shipping under Different Regimes between 2020 and 2050," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(17), pages 1-20, September.
    4. Alherbawi, Mohammad & Parthasarathy, Prakash & Al-Ansari, Tareq & Mackey, Hamish R. & McKay, Gordon, 2021. "Potential of drop-in biofuel production from camel manure by hydrothermal liquefaction and biocrude upgrading: A Qatar case study," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 232(C).
    5. Jukka Lappalainen & David Baudouin & Ursel Hornung & Julia Schuler & Kristian Melin & Saša Bjelić & Frédéric Vogel & Jukka Konttinen & Tero Joronen, 2020. "Sub- and Supercritical Water Liquefaction of Kraft Lignin and Black Liquor Derived Lignin," Energies, MDPI, vol. 13(13), pages 1-45, June.
    6. Kumar, R. & Strezov, V., 2021. "Thermochemical production of bio-oil: A review of downstream processing technologies for bio-oil upgrading, production of hydrogen and high value-added products," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 135(C).
    7. Ong, Benjamin H.Y. & Walmsley, Timothy G. & Atkins, Martin J. & Varbanov, Petar S. & Walmsley, Michael R.W., 2019. "A heat- and mass-integrated design of hydrothermal liquefaction process co-located with a Kraft pulp mill," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
    8. Bagnato, Giuseppe & Boulet, Florent & Sanna, Aimaro, 2019. "Effect of Li-LSX zeolite, NiCe/Al2O3 and NiCe/ZrO2 on the production of drop-in bio-fuels by pyrolysis and hydrotreating of Nannochloropsis and isochrysis microalgae," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 199-213.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Kumar, Mayank & Olajire Oyedun, Adetoyese & Kumar, Amit, 2018. "A review on the current status of various hydrothermal technologies on biomass feedstock," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 81(P2), pages 1742-1770.
    2. Xu, Donghai & Lin, Guike & Guo, Shuwei & Wang, Shuzhong & Guo, Yang & Jing, Zefeng, 2018. "Catalytic hydrothermal liquefaction of algae and upgrading of biocrude: A critical review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 103-118.
    3. Savvas L. Douvartzides & Nikolaos D. Charisiou & Kyriakos N. Papageridis & Maria A. Goula, 2019. "Green Diesel: Biomass Feedstocks, Production Technologies, Catalytic Research, Fuel Properties and Performance in Compression Ignition Internal Combustion Engines," Energies, MDPI, vol. 12(5), pages 1-41, February.
    4. No, Soo-Young, 2014. "Application of bio-oils from lignocellulosic biomass to transportation, heat and power generation—A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1108-1125.
    5. Collett, James R. & Billing, Justin M. & Meyer, Pimphan A. & Schmidt, Andrew J. & Remington, A. Brook & Hawley, Erik R. & Hofstad, Beth A. & Panisko, Ellen A. & Dai, Ziyu & Hart, Todd R. & Santosa, Da, 2019. "Renewable diesel via hydrothermal liquefaction of oleaginous yeast and residual lignin from bioconversion of corn stover," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 233, pages 840-853.
    6. Isa, Khairuddin Md & Abdullah, Tuan Amran Tuan & Ali, Umi Fazara Md, 2018. "Hydrogen donor solvents in liquefaction of biomass: A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 81(P1), pages 1259-1268.
    7. Déniel, Maxime & Haarlemmer, Geert & Roubaud, Anne & Weiss-Hortala, Elsa & Fages, Jacques, 2016. "Energy valorisation of food processing residues and model compounds by hydrothermal liquefaction," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 1632-1652.
    8. Kumar, R. & Strezov, V., 2021. "Thermochemical production of bio-oil: A review of downstream processing technologies for bio-oil upgrading, production of hydrogen and high value-added products," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 135(C).
    9. Tzanetis, Konstantinos F. & Posada, John A. & Ramirez, Andrea, 2017. "Analysis of biomass hydrothermal liquefaction and biocrude-oil upgrading for renewable jet fuel production: The impact of reaction conditions on production costs and GHG emissions performance," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 1388-1398.
    10. Beims, R.F. & Simonato, C.L. & Wiggers, V.R., 2019. "Technology readiness level assessment of pyrolysis of trygliceride biomass to fuels and chemicals," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 521-529.
    11. Bi, Zheting & Zhang, Ji & Zhu, Zeying & Liang, Yanna & Wiltowski, Tomasz, 2018. "Generating biocrude from partially defatted Cryptococcus curvatus yeast residues through catalytic hydrothermal liquefaction," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 209(C), pages 435-444.
    12. Kamaldeep Sharma & Ayaz A. Shah & Saqib S. Toor & Tahir H. Seehar & Thomas H. Pedersen & Lasse A. Rosendahl, 2021. "Co-Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Lignocellulosic Biomass in Supercritical Water," Energies, MDPI, vol. 14(6), pages 1-13, March.
    13. Li, Chenlin & Aston, John E. & Lacey, Jeffrey A. & Thompson, Vicki S. & Thompson, David N., 2016. "Impact of feedstock quality and variation on biochemical and thermochemical conversion," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 525-536.
    14. Maity, Sunil K., 2015. "Opportunities, recent trends and challenges of integrated biorefinery: Part I," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 1427-1445.
    15. Pedersen, T.H. & Grigoras, I.F. & Hoffmann, J. & Toor, S.S. & Daraban, I.M. & Jensen, C.U. & Iversen, S.B. & Madsen, R.B. & Glasius, M. & Arturi, K.R. & Nielsen, R.P. & Søgaard, E.G. & Rosendahl, L.A., 2016. "Continuous hydrothermal co-liquefaction of aspen wood and glycerol with water phase recirculation," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 1034-1041.
    16. Gu, Xiangyu & Yu, Liang & Pang, Na & Martinez-Fernandez, Jose Salomon & Fu, Xiao & Chen, Shulin, 2020. "Comparative techno-economic analysis of algal biofuel production via hydrothermal liquefaction: One stage versus two stages," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 259(C).
    17. Cheng, Feng & Brewer, Catherine E., 2017. "Producing jet fuel from biomass lignin: Potential pathways to alkyl-benzenes and cycloalkanes," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 673-722.
    18. Mei, Danhua & Liu, Shiyun & Wang, Sen & Zhou, Renwu & Zhou, Rusen & Fang, Zhi & Zhang, Xianhui & Cullen, Patrick J. & Ostrikov, Kostya (Ken), 2020. "Plasma-enabled liquefaction of lignocellulosic biomass: Balancing feedstock content for maximum energy yield," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 1061-1071.
    19. Yan, Shuo & Xia, Dehong & Zhang, Xinru & Liu, Xiangjun, 2022. "Synergistic mechanism of enhanced biocrude production during hydrothermal co-liquefaction of biomass model components: A molecular dynamics simulation," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 255(C).
    20. Taghipour, Alireza & Ramirez, Jerome A. & Brown, Richard J. & Rainey, Thomas J., 2019. "A review of fractional distillation to improve hydrothermal liquefaction biocrude characteristics; future outlook and prospects," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 115(C).


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:137:y:2017:i:c:p:679-695. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.