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USE OF A HYDROTHERMAL LIQUEFACTION UNIT TO TREAT WET BIOMASS AND RECOVERY OF AMMONIA GENERATED WITHIN A HTL UNIT OR FROM WASTEWATER

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000242237D
Publication Date: 2015-Jun-26
Document File: 3 page(s) / 22K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Baker Hughes Incorporated: OWNER

Abstract

A new method of reducing inorganic scale such as but not limited to carbonates or phosphates in hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) unit processing of a wet biomass and recovering ammonia from byproducts generated within a HTL unit or from its wastewater stream is disclosed. Pyrolysis is often used to convert biomass into renewable energy sources such as bio-crude (or bio-oil). However, pyrolysis is unsuitable for biomass having high water content which can be in excess of 70 weight percent for some species of algae. For such biomass types to be subjected to pyrolysis, they must first be dried. This is an energy and time consuming step in the process. Processing biomass HTL avoids the drying expense however carbonate and phosphate scales can form in the process equipment. These scales interfere with the operation and performance of the HTL equipment. Surprisingly, it has been discovered that scale inhibitors in sub-stoichiometric amounts relative to scale forming components survive the harsh conditions present and reduce scale formation when added to the wet biomass prior to processing by HTL. Scale inhibitors selected from the group consisting of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, nitrolotriacetic acid, sulfonated styrene maleic anhydride, polyacrylate copolymers and citric acid and mixtures thereof will reduce scale formation in this process.

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use of a hydrothermal liquefaction unit to treat wet biomass and recovery of ammonia generated within a HTL unit or from wastewater

A new method of reducing inorganic scale such as but not limited to carbonates or phosphates in hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) unit processing of a wet biomass and recovering ammonia from byproducts generated within a HTL unit or from its wastewater stream is disclosed. Pyrolysis is often used to convert biomass into renewable energy sources such as bio-crude (or bio-oil).  However, pyrolysis is unsuitable for biomass having high water content which can be in excess of 70 weight percent for some species of algae. For such biomass types to be subjected to pyrolysis, they must first be dried.  This is an energy and time consuming step in the process. Processing biomass HTL avoids the drying expense however carbonate and phosphate scales can form in the process equipment. These scales interfere with the operation and performance of the HTL equipment. Surprisingly, it has been discovered that scale inhibitors in sub-stoichiometric amounts relative to scale forming components survive the harsh conditions present and reduce scale formation when added to the wet biomass prior to processing by HTL. Scale inhibitors selected from the group consisting of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, nitrolotriacetic acid, sulfonated styrene maleic anhydride, polyacrylate copolymers and citric acid and mixtures thereof will reduce scale formation in this process.

Some species of algae are known to contain 10% nitrogen content and HTL processing generates high levels of ammonia in combination with other gases formed by HTL treatment. It has been discovered this ammonia can be captured as a source of nutrient for further algae production or it can be purified and used for other indus...