Reconsidering lab procedures for hydrothermal carbonization of biomass: The impact of pre-drying and stirring

Omar M. Abdeldayem*, Capucine Dupont, David Ferras, Lat Grand Ndiaye, Maria Kennedy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Although industrial hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) uses wet feedstock, lab-scale studies tend to dry the feedstock under the assumption that the rehydration of the feedstock would restore its original properties. To the best of our knowledge, this assumption has not been thoroughly examined at the lab scale; therefore, its investigation is crucial to prevent any discrepancies that might affect the upscaling of HTC. This research aims to examine the effects of pre-drying biomass by comparing it to the use of wet biomass in HTC experiments, employing three different types of biomass (rejected tomatoes, rejected apples, and digestate). Additionally, the study investigates the influence of stirring on pre-dried and wet biomass under the selected HTC conditions. The results indicate a substantial disparity in studied hydrochar properties when using pre-dried biomass compared to wet biomass. For pre-dried biomass, there is a tendency for an increase in mass yield and solid carbon yield in most examined samples (5–10% dry basis) compared to the wet biomass. Regarding functional groups, wet tomatoes and apples exhibit more pronounced peaks than pre-dried samples. Conversely, digestate shows similar spectra across all examined scenarios. The effect of stirring appears insignificant for most of the studied scenarios; nevertheless, it reduced dehydration and decarboxylation reactions during HTC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106459
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Biomass
  • Hydrochar
  • Hydrothermal carbonization
  • Pre-drying
  • Stirring


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