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Yalin Li

Environmental Sciences Seminar

DATE/TIME: Friday, February 2, 2024, 2:30 pm

Yalin Li
Rutgers, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

The magic of pressure cooking: hydrothermal systems for waste valorization

More than 100 million metric tonnes of wet organic wastes are produced each year in the US, representing a very real challenge for waste management due to their high production rate and the inefficiency of conventional management methods. At the same time, these waste streams represent untapped resources that can be repurposed into valuable products. Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) is an emerging technology that leverages the unique properties of water at elevated temperature and pressure (e.g., increase in ionic product and organic solubility) to convert heterogeneous organic materials into an oil-phase biocrude, an aqueous phase, hydrochar, and gas products. Through various upgrading technologies, these intermediates can then be further turned into biofuels and fuel additives, platform chemicals, construction materials, and fertilizer products. This talk will provide an overview of the principles and applications of hydrothermal waste valorization systems, while discussing the sustainability and future research needs of these systems in comparison with existing waste management strategies.

Seminar Host:
Uta Krogmann
Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University