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Current and Foreseeable Applications of Supercritical Water for Energy and the Environment

Authors

  • Anne Loppinet-Serani Dr.,

    1. Institut de Chimie de la Matière Condensée de Bordeaux ICMCB-CNRS and ENSCPB, Université Bordeaux I, 87 Av. Dr A. Schweitzer, 33608 PESSAC Cedex, France, Fax: (+33) 540-002-761
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  • Cyril Aymonier Dr.,

    1. Institut de Chimie de la Matière Condensée de Bordeaux ICMCB-CNRS and ENSCPB, Université Bordeaux I, 87 Av. Dr A. Schweitzer, 33608 PESSAC Cedex, France, Fax: (+33) 540-002-761
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  • François Cansell Prof.

    1. Institut de Chimie de la Matière Condensée de Bordeaux ICMCB-CNRS and ENSCPB, Université Bordeaux I, 87 Av. Dr A. Schweitzer, 33608 PESSAC Cedex, France, Fax: (+33) 540-002-761
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Abstract

It is crucial to develop economical and energy-efficient processes for the sustainable transformation of biomass into fuels and chemicals. In this context, supercritical water biomass valorization (SCBV) processes are an alternative way to produce biogas, biofuels, and valuable chemicals. Supercritical water technology has seen much progress over the last fifteen years and an industrial application has merged: the supercritical water oxidation of wastes. The evolution from lab-scale to pilot-scale facilities has provided data on reaction mechanisms, kinetics, modeling, and reactor technology as well as an important know-how, which can now be exploited to use the reactivity in supercritical water to transform biomass into gases (CO, H2, CO2, CH4, and N2) or into liquids (liquid fuel and valuable chemicals) with the supercritical water biomass gasification and liquefaction processes, respectively. This Review highlights the potential of SCBV processes to transform biomass into gas and liquid energy sources and highlights the developments that are still necessary to push this technology onto the market.

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