• About
  • Portfolio
  • Stream
As a part of my masters research, I designed and constructed a hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) system to convert a continuous flow of biomass slurry into a crude oil. It is one of the only continuous HTL systems in the country. The system converts biomass into biocrude using high temperatures and pressures that cause the breakdown and reformation of hydrocarbons. The conversion is optimized by achieving specific heating rates, set point temperatures and residence times. This design allows for precise control of these parameters. The system was purchased by a small company for demonstration and initial testing.

I created a MATLAB model to simulate the pressures, heating rates and temperatures in the system in order to select the proper equipment and dimensions of the system. I then used a SolidWorks model to generate drawings and a bill of materials for construction.
The fully constructed system is shown above. After my initial SolidWorks design was completed, data from batch experiments prompted the addition of the "residence time module" and "needle valve base." I designed and constructed each of these sub-systems as well.
The high pressure syringe pump pressurizes the biomass slurry to 300+ psi. The slurry is then pumped through a fluidized sand bath to be quickly heated to 300-350 Celsius.
After the slurry reaches its set point temperature, this residence time model keeps the slurry at that temperature for up to 30 minutes. Heating wire was wrapped around the tubing, and a controller was used to switch the heating element on when necessary.
Once the slurry has been held at its set point temperature, a cooling bath (not pictured) brings the converted slurry mixture back to room temperature. Finally, the pressure control valve returns the mixture to atmospheric pressure and the mixture is collected. The module shown above holds the pressure transducer, flushing valve and pressure control valve in place.
  • o
Continuous Hydrothermal Liquefaction System

As a part of my masters research, I designed and constructed a hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) system to convert a continuous flow of biomass slurry into a crude oil. It is one of the only continuous HTL systems in the country. The system converts biomass into biocrude using high temperatures and pressures that cause the breakdown and reformation of hydrocarbons. The conversion is optimized by achieving specific heating rates, set point temperatures and residence times. This design allows for precise control of these parameters. The system was purchased by a small company for demonstration and initial testing.

Available
Joey Anthony
New Product Development Engineer at Daikin Applied Plymouth, MN