2nd International Symposium on Hydrothermal Carbonization

Hydrothermal carbonization as a building block for a sustainable bioeconomy

In May 2019, the DBFZ Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum gemeinnützige GmbH (Leipzig, Germany) hosted the 2nd International Symposium on Hydrothermal Carbonization in Berlin, Germany as a follow-up to the first event that took place in London, UK in April 2017. Organization of the event was supported by the ATB Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (Potsdam, Germany).
Thanks to all the speakers, chairs, attendees, and supporters, the event was a great success!

Purpose of the symposium

Hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) is a promising technology to convert biogenic residues (agricultural residues, industrial and municipal wastes) to innovative material, energy, or environmental products. Its chemistry offers a huge potential to tune and control the product properties on demand and produce designer carbon materials for a variety of applications from environmental sorbents, innovative energy storage, to soil amendments. The liquid phase obtained during hydrothermal treatment contains a valuable source of chemicals, carbon quantum dots or can be upgraded to fuel precursors.

This symposium reviewed recent developments, driven by both fundamental research and applied technology. Researchers from diverse disciplines ranging from chemists, material and chemical engineers, to agricultural and soil scientists were invited to submit papers. Companies in solid waste, wastewater treatment, as well as those in the agricultural and energy industries with feasibility studies or full-scale technological applications were also invited to present their experiences. The symposium offered a platform for discussions across disciplines and between researchers and practitioners.

Topics covered in the symposium included, but were not limited to:

  • Material and energetic use of HTC-products, ranging from adsorption, remediation, and nutrient recovery to solid and liquid fuel precursors as well as the use in biogas production,
  • Fundamental insights into the HTC-process itself, ranging from kinetic and thermodynamic modeling to advanced product characterization,
  • Innovative applications of HTC-technology in diverse process chains in agricultural, environmental, industrial, or energy sectors, ranging from modern biorefineries to disinfection or recycling of biogenic residues,
  • State-of-the-art in upscaling and commercialization, including the economic and legal framework of HTC-technology and its products worldwide.

The event also featured a concluding field trip to a German-based HTC-plant at demonstration scale!