Calgary Alberta – August 19, 2015 – Steeper Energy Canada Ltd., a Danish-Canadian clean-fuel company, has completed an NSERC Engage Collaboration Project with Aalborg University and the Institute for Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources (ICFAR) of the University of Western Ontario. The project explored the link between biomass composition and the Hydrothermal Liquefaction Oil Yield and Properties.
The objective of project was to investigate effects of two-step operation on hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass for bio-crude production, intending to in-situ hydro-treat the bio-crude oil in the presence a supported metal catalyst to obtain high-quality bio-oil. Constrained by the availability of continuous-flow reactor, the experiments were carried out in a batch autoclave reactor. The results demonstrated that the two-step operation was effective for producing bio-crude oil of a higher yield and better quality (with respect to oil composition), compared with one-step operation. The presence of catalysts and addition of a small amount of alcohol into water medium increased yields of bio-oils and hydrogen gas. The presence of dual catalysts played an important role in obtaining a higher yield of bio-oil products with higher concentration of lighter aromatic compounds such as 2-cyclopenten-1-one, phenols and benzenes and derivatives and reduced concentration of carboxylic acids (or esters).