An assessment of different integration strategies of hydrothermal carbonisation and anaerobic digestion of water hyacinth

Aaron Brown, Jessica Adams, Oliver Grasham, Miller Carmargo-Valero, Andrew Ross

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Abstract

Water hyacinth (WH) is an invasive aquatic macrophyte that dominates freshwater bodies across the world. However, due to its rapid growth rate and wide-spread global presence, WH could offer great potential as a biomass feedstock, including for bioenergy generation. This study compares different integration strategies of hydrothermal carbonisation (HTC) and anaerobic digestion (AD) using WH, across a range of temperatures. These include (i) hydrochar combustion and process water digestion, (ii) hydrochar digestion, (iii) slurry digestion. HTC reactions were conducted at 150 °C, 200 °C, and 250 °C. Separation of hydrochars for combustion and process waters for digestion offers the most energetically-feasible valorisation route. However, hydrochars produced from WH display slagging and fouling tendencies; limiting their use in large-scale combustion. AD of WH slurry produced at 150 °C appears to be energetically-feasible and has the potential to also be a viable integration strategy between HTC and AD, using WH.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5983
Number of pages26
JournalEnergies
Volume13
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Biomethane
  • Hydrochar
  • Hydrothermal carbonization
  • Process water
  • Water hyacinth

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