Oil produced from biomass can provide a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. But technological challenges make it difficult to scale up production and make it economically viable.
One technology known as hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) allows for production of biocrude oil from wet biomass such as algae, food waste, or animal manure. This process sidesteps costly drying procedures; however, it creates a wastewater byproduct that is considered an environmental hazard.
A new study from the University of Illinois discusses methods to manage this wastewater, providing a possible path to commercially viable production.
Jamison Watson, doctoral student in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at U of I, says the study provides a comprehensive overview of current wastewater treatment methods that can help producers and researchers going forward.
Image via University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer, & Environmental Sciences