Energy of the Future

Process of HTC Technology

Hydrothermal Carbonisation – HTC

Process of hydrothermal carbonisation was described for the first time by Fridrich Bergius already in 1913 and together with other discovered chemical processes the HTC was the reason why the Nobel Prize for chemistry was awarded to him in 1931.  Although the HTC process has many benefits this technology has not been applied until recently on the industrial level, due to the low energy prices.

Hydrothermal carbonisation mirrors the natural process of fossil coal creation. Process that took millions of years in the nature can be performed during one afternoon. Using the temperature of 220°C, pressure of 25 bar and environment without access of air and with added catalyst, the biomass is dehydrated and carbonised within 6 hours to the CO2-neutral biocoal. Produced biocoal can be directly incinerated or utilised differently in industrial applications, same as the fossil coal.  Production process transforms all carbon from the organic waste into the biocoal; therefore it has 100% carbon efficiency. No carbon dioxide or methane is produced.
Using the HTC process the moist biomass, with the water content of up to 80% and with low calorific value, is transformed into biocoal bearing characteristics that are comparable to those of fossil coal. 

Important Advantage – Exothermic Process

HTC technology brings in one major advantage. The process is exothermic – during transformation of biomass to the biocoal the energy is released. It means that the initial energy required for process functioning is almost all compensated by the exothermic process.  Such released energy is fully utilised in the process and this results in the positive energy balance.