Hydrothermal Carbonization

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Carbon nanoballs made from glucose via hydrothermal carbonization, that have been processed with CO2 for 6 hours to change surface properties. SEM image from University of Tartu.
Hydrothermal carbonization for soil amendment.

Hydrothermal Carbonization (HTC), also known as "hydrochar", is a form of thermal biomass conversion that involves moderate temperatures and pressures over an aqueous solution of biomass in a dilute acid for several hours. One advantage of the HTC process over conventional dry-thermal pre-treatments is the ability to handle wet feedstock without pre-drying. The resulting "biocoal" has physiochemical properties that are very different from biochar and can be used as a soil amendment (similar to biochar), bioenergy, and the remediation of wastewater pollution.

Open Source Hardware Needs

  • Pressure Vessel

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