My research project
Characterisation, removal and recovery of organic contaminants in hydrothermal carbonization process water
Hydrothermal carbonisation (HTC) is a thermochemical conversion process that upgrades wet biomass into a solid, carbonaceous product, with a higher carbon content and hence higher calorific value. This can be used as a fuel, soil amender, or further upgraded into useful products. An obstacle in the industrialisation of hydrothermal carbonisation is the production of large volumes of highly polluted wastewater - water with high COD, BOD and inorganic content. This must be dealt with efficiently to allow the economic and environmental feasibility of the hydrothermal carbonisation process.
My project focuses on the removal and recovery of the organic contaminants in the process water from hydrothermal carbonisation of spent coffee grounds. The aim is to produce dischargeable wastewater, having recovered as much of the organic material as possible, as useful products such as high-quality biogas, which increases the overall energy recovery in the HTC and subsequent process water treatment regime.
My PhD project is in conjunction with and sponsored by Antaco UK Ltd, as well as the University of Surrey.