Acetic Acid and Lithium Chloride Effects on Hydrothermal Carbonization of Lignocellulosic Biomass
As a renewable non-food resource, lignocellulosic biomass has great potential as an energy source or feedstock for further conversion. However, challenges exist supply logistics of this geographically scattered and perishable resource. Hydrothermal carbonization treats any kind of biomass in 200 to 260°C compressed water under an inert atmosphere to produce a hydrophobic solid of reduced mass and increased fuel value. A maximum in higher heating value (HHV) was found when 0.4 g of acetic acid was added per g of biomass. If 1 g of LiCl and 0.4 g acetic acid were added per g of biomass to the initial reaction solution, a 30% increase in HHV was found compared to the pretreatment with no additives, along with greater mass reduction. LiCl addition also reduces reaction pressure. Addition of acetic acid and/or LiCl to hydrothermal carbonization each contribute to increased HHV and reduced mass yield of the solid product.