Retrofitting of biomass ultrafast hydrolysis by supercritical water. Effective design of upstream and downstream units

  1. Vaquerizo Martín, Luis
Supervised by:
  1. María José Cocero Alonso Director

Defence university: Universidad de Valladolid

Fecha de defensa: 22 February 2019

  1. Edward Henry Lester Chair
  2. Danilo Alberto Cantero Sposetti Secretary
  3. Francisco Javier Gutiérrez Ortiz Committee member

Type: Thesis


A successful implementation of green technologies in today’s society requires performing a progressive decentralization of the manufacturing processes. In this context, biomass hydrolysis by supercritical water must play a leading role. First, the reduction of the reaction times to values lower than 1 second intensifies the process. Second, the high selectivities, reaching values up to 98%, eliminates further separation stages. Finally, since only water is used as solvent and reaction medium, the postprocessing of effluents is avoided. However, the operation of a real biomass hydrolysis plant still presents some challenges related to the combination of solid particles and high pressure and to the complexity of the biomass structure. The implementation of this technology in delocalized production centers strongly depends on overcoming these limitations. The main objective of this thesis is to redesign and adapt the unit operations of the process to the raw materials and operating conditions expected in a real plant.