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The Center for BioOil is a research project funded by The Danish Council for Strategic Research, grant no. 1305-00030A, for the period 2014-2017 (ultimo).

Project Description

As fossil reserves run out, and global as well as local climate issues become very real, it is necessary to identify technologies and technology platforms that can aid in making the transition to sustainability as smooth as possible. The most rewarding sector for bio-fuel implementation is the transport sector, and more specifically for bio-crudes, aerial, marine and heavy land based transport. Hydrothermal Liquefaction represents a technology, which is feedstock insensitive, energy-, cost- and feedstock-effective, with a high potential for sustainability and product flexibility with significant drop-in fuel capabilities making it a strong contender in the field of cost-effective bio-fuel production technologies. Furthermore, its feedstock insensitivity creates a range of potential synergies with other bio-fuel platforms. This proposal aims at bringing Danish research and development in this field to the very front through setting new standards for hydrothermal liquefaction in the context of continuous processes. Furthermore, to do so in cooperation with international and industrial partners thus ensuring coherence and strategically focused research. Specifically, the proposal aims at improving fundamental understanding of feedstock composition, conversion and upgrading, set up sustainability criteria and evaluations, improve characterization and reporting methods and address performance and emission issues for end use equipment. Experimental methods, numerical methods and theory will all be applied to deliver strong results for publication and implementation.

Total budget: 30 million DKK


The project objective is to develop and demonstrate sustainable, high-efficiency hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) for biomass feedstocks to bio-crude, and to demonstrate HTL upgrades as drop in fuels for a range of primary energy conversion technologies.

Work Packages

Work Package 1: Feedstocks and Hydrothermal Conversion
Parametric studies in batch and continuous systems, centered around lignocellulosic feedstocks. Recipe based approach, pretreatment for efficient processing, optimal conditions for high yield and quality oil. Closure of streams.

WP lead: ET-AAU
Vice-lead: Steeper Energy

Work Package 2: Refining and transport grade fuels
Upgrading to refinery bio-feed quality as well as finished fuels, all with drop-in specs. Heteroatom removal, hydrotreating, analysis and oil assays. End use testing in Diesel and Jet engines for demonstration.

Vice-lead: ET-AAU

Work Package 3: Water chemistry and residual streams
Residual stream closure - gas, aqueous and solid, characterization, separation, data screening. High value chemicals such as fertilizer and others
WP lead: BIO-AAU
Work Package 4: LCA and sustainable business models
Sustainability criteria, life cycle and environmental impact assesment