(544q) Analysis of Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Food Waste into Biofuel and Biomaterials

Aierzhati, A., University of Illinois
Zhang, Y., University of Illinois
Stablein, M., UIUC
It is estimated 9.9 million tons (dry matter) of residential food waste was generated in the U.S. in 2012 (Milbrandt et al, 2016). This biomass, instead of direct disposal, presents an opportunity to implement new resource recovery technologies to alleviate waste. Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) utilizes elevated temperature and pressure to convert wet biomasses to biocrude oil that can be used as fuel or asphalts, at the same time remediating the food waste going to landfills.

The present work intends to convert the food waste collected from a university dining hall into biofuel and biomaterial to analyze the feasibility of HTL process. The experimental work include investigating different feedstock pretreatment methods, HTL reaction conditions, upgrading HTL biocrude oil, and recycling nutrients. Analysis include a detailed mass and energy balance, carbon and nutrient recovery efficiency, and techno-economic analysis of the HTL process. Combined experimental and analytical results are used to assess the sustainability and robustness of the HTL-centered process for the entire campus.