Hydrothermal catalytic production of fuels and chemicals from aquatic biomass


Correspondence to: P.E. Savage, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA. Email: psavage@umich.edu


One of the promising avenues for biomass processing is the use of water as a reaction medium for wet or aquatic biomass. This review focuses on the hydrothermal catalytic production of fuels and chemicals from aquatic biomass. Two different regimes for conversion of aquatic biomass in hydrothermal conditions are discussed in detail. The first is hydrothermal liquefaction, and the second is hydrothermal gasification. The goals of these processes are to produce liquid-fuel-range hydrocarbons and methane or hydrogen, respectively. The catalytic upgrading of biocrude resulting from noncatalytic liquefaction and the stability and degradation of catalysts in high temperature water are also discussed. The review concludes with a brief discussion of the outlook for and opportunities within the field of hydrothermal catalytic valorization of biomass. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry