Synthesis of liquid biofuels from biomass by hydrothermal gasification: A critical review

Hossein Shahbeik, Wanxi Peng, Hamed Kazemi Shariat Panahi, Mona Dehhaghi, Gilles J. Guillemin, Alireza Fallahi, Hamid Amiri, Mohammad Rehan, Deepak Raikwar, Hannes Latine, Bruno Pandalone, Benyamin Khoshnevisan, Christian Sonne, Luigi Vaccaro, Abdul Sattar Nizami, Vijai Kumar Gupta, Su Shiung Lam, Junting Pan, Rafael Luque, Bert SelsMeisam Tabatabaei*, Mortaza Aghbashlo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)
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Liquid transportation biofuel production is a promising strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Hydrothermal gasification (HTG) has shown great potential as an effective method for valorizing wet biomass. The high-quality syngas produced using the HTG process can be chemically/biochemically converted to liquid biofuels. Therefore, this paper aims to comprehensively review and critically discuss syngas production from biomass using the HTG process and its conversion into liquid biofuels. The basics and mechanisms of biomass HTG processing are first detailed to provide a comprehensive and deep understanding of the process. Second, the effects of the main operating parameters on the performance of the HTG process are numerically analyzed and mechanistically discussed. The syngas cleaning/conditioning and Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis are then detailed, aiming to produce liquid biofuels. The economic performance and environmental impacts of liquid biofuels using the HTG-FT route are evaluated. Finally, the challenges and prospects for future development in this field are presented. Overall, the maximum total gas yield in the HTG process is obtained at temperature, pressure, and residence time in the range of 450–500 °C, 28–30 MPa, and 30–60 min, respectively. The highest C5+ liquid hydrocarbon selectivity in the FT process is achieved at temperatures between 200 and 240 °C. Generally, effective conversion of biomass to syngas using the HTG process and its successful upgrading using the FT process can offer a viable route for producing liquid biofuels. Future studies should use HTG technology in the biorefinery context to maximize biomass valorization and minimize waste generation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112833
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Early online date9 Aug 2022
Publication statusPrint publication - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Catalyst
  • Fischer-tropsch synthesis
  • Hydrothermal gasification
  • Liquid biofuels
  • Supercritical water
  • Syngas


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