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Project description:

Project no:
Hydrothermal gasification of waste biomass and recovery of nutrients and energy
1st project leader:
Boukis, Nikolaos - Institute of Catalysis Research and Technology (IKFT) at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
2nd project leader
Current status

The energetic use of diluted wet waste biomass is a particular challenge. For wet biomass, supercritical water (T>374 °C, p>221 bar) is suitable as a reaction medium. It is known that at temperatures of around 650 °C organic substances react with water to form hydrogen, carbon dioxide, methane and ethane. The KIT (Campus Nord, IKFT) has been active in this field for long time and, with the VERENA pilot plant and the numerous publications, occupies a leading international position.

Objectives and working methods

The material and energetic efficiency, as well as the quality of the wastewater and the efficient separation of nutrients and carbon dioxide during the gasification process will be optimized. For the separation of nutrients, a new process design, which provide separation at reaction temperatures (>600°C), will be tested. Preferred type of waste biomass is beer draft. To determine the chemical yields, a variety of analytical methods available at the KIT are used.

The chances of success are very good. The IKFT already has many years of experience -several PhD and Master Thesis work have been successfully finished - in this field.
1. Nikolaos Boukis, Sophia Herbig, Elena Hauer, Jörg Sauer (KIT, D) and Frédéric Vogel (PSI, CH). Catalytic gasification of digestate sludge in supercritical water, experimental results on the pilot plant scale. Biomass Conv. Bioref. (2017) 7:415–424

2. Nikolaos Boukis, Ina Katharina Stoll, Jörg Sauer, Johannes Fischer, Rainer Kansy. Separation of salts during the gasification of spent grain in supercritical water.
25th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, 12.-15. June 2017, Stockholm, Sweden. p. 338-343

3. Sherif Elsayed, Nikolaos Boukis, Dominik Patzelt, Stefan Hindersin, Martin Kerner, Jörg Sauer. Gasification of Microalgae Using Supercritical Water and the Potential of Effluent Recycling. Chemical Engineering Technology. 2016, 39, no.2, 335-342.

4. Nikolaos Boukis, Leon Korving, Elena Hauer, Sophia Herbig, Jörg Sauer
Gasification of sewage sludge in supercritical water, experimental results from the gasification of Dutch sewage sludge. 23rd European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, 1-4 June 2015, Vienna, Austria. p. 83-87

5. A. Möbius, N. Boukis, J.Sauer
Gasification of biomass in supercritical water (SCWG)
Materials and processes for energy: communicating current research and technological developments, 2013 p. 264-268
Methods that will be used:
Long-time experiments with waste biomass, GC, ICP, HPLC, SEM-EDX
Collaboration partners:
PAULANER brewery
Expected candidate‘s qualification:
Chemical engineering, Fluent English, elementary German
Supercritical water, gasification, phosphorous, salt recovery, energy, waste biomass, sewage sludge, digestate sludge