Production and characterization of HTC solids from lignin-rich biomass and downstream application in anaerobic digestion

Conference Dates

September 15-20, 2019


Lignocellulosic biomass is mainly composed of three pseudo components, namely hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin. Of these three, lignin as a cross-linked network hydrophobic polymer has a strong resistance to biodegradation such as anaerobic digestion (Hatfield and Fukushima 2005, Fernandes, Klaasse Bos et al. 2009), but can be decomposed thermally. Hydrothermal carbonization is a promising method of processing biomass with high moisture content for value-added products. This study evaluates and compares the physicochemical characteristics of hydrochar derived from rice husk, wheat straw pellets, oil rape straw pellets and reference alkali lignin. The results indicated wide variation in the physicochemical properties and quality of hydrochar depending on biomass feedstock composition. Mass yields of lignocelluosic biomass increased with the increase of lignin content, however, higher lignin content biomass exhibited lower hydrogen/carbon ratio. The results of this study also identified that hydrochar were more acidic than biochar produced from same feedstocks, however, Kraft lignin hydrochar exhibited higher pH 9.52. The study also seeks to explain the role of biomass composition on surface functional groups of hydrochar via attenuated total reflection - Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR). The ATR-FTIR spectra were used to identify the functional groups qualitatively. It would give further insight into surface functional groups of hydrochars and the changes in the chemical composition of lignin and biomass during the conversion process.

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