Solar and biomass hybridization through hydrothermal carbonization

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Hydrothermal carbonization process can transform wet bio-wastes into value-added products. This work aims to hybridize a concentrating solar technology and a biomass reactor for the continuous and sustainable valorization of biomass. The novel technology proposed integrates a linear beam-down solar field with a twin-screw reactor for continuous HTC process. The solar field consists of two reflections that concentrate linearly the sun energy on the ground, where the twin-screw reactor is placed. A mathematical model is proposed to solve both the heat transfer and HTC kinetics for a co-rotating twin-screw reactor. The incoming heat flux from the solar field (8-20 kW/m2), the reactor length (L/D = 30-60 where D is the diameter) and the rotating velocity of the screw (25-100 rpm) are the main variables used to process the biomass up to the desired severity factor. The simulation results of different lignocellulosic biomasses (loblolly pine, sugarcane bagasse, corn stover and rice husk) are validated against literature data. The developed model shows good agreement with experimental results shown in the literature. The proposed technology foresees hydrochar yields of 64-78% for severity factors of 4.2 and 5.3, respectively, in agreement to the experimental results of 63-70% shown in literature.
Continuous hydrothermal carbonization, Concentrated solar energy, Beam-down solar field, Twin-screw extruders, Organic wastes
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Briongos, J. V., Taramona, S., Gómez-Hernández, J., Mulone, V., & Santana, D. (2021). Solar and biomass hybridization through hydrothermal carbonization. In Renewable Energy, 177, pp. 268-279