Biomass- Biocrude Basics

Q&A with Bioenergy Researchers: Making Biocrude and Biofuel from Human Waste
By Erik Hyrkas, former EERE Communications team member
Did you know that the Energy Department is working to create biofuel from resources like human waste? In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technology Office works with national laboratories to research the development of biofuels and biocrude from various sources.
This Q&A with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researchers,Corinne Drennan and Greg Kunkel, explores how scientists are developing technology to support refining human waste into biofuels and biocrude using methods such as hydrothermal liquefaction and what that means for the future.

  1. What is the potential of developing biofuels and biocrude from human waste and how efficient is the process to create it?
  2. What applications can you see for the future of this technology? Could we see more of these wastewater treatment plants popping up all over
  3. What are the general uses of biocrude?
  4. How does HTL work?
  5. What’s the general perception of turning human waste into fuel in the research community and/or public?
  6. What makes this use of hydrothermal liquefaction so innovative?
  7. What trends do we see for the future of developing biofuels from waste?

Engineers Develop Fast Method To Convert Algae To Biocrude
Biofuel experts have long sought a more economically-viable way to turn algae into biocrude oil to power vehicles, ships and even jets. University of Utah researchers believe they have found an answer. They have developed an unusually rapid method to deliver cost-effective algal biocrude in large quantities using a specially-designed jet mixer.Packed inside the microorganisms growing in ponds, lakes and rivers are lipids, which are fatty acid molecules containing oil that can be extracted to power diesel engines. When extracted…>>

Waste Management Is A Vital Issue Around The Globe
In some countries the problem exists at the most base level: collection of garbage is non-existent. BioCRUDE Technologies, Inc. has developed efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly products and systems for the reformation of waste material, waste management and creation of renewable energy…>> 
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Predicting Products from Algae
Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) is a process that uses water at high temperatures and pressures to convert wet biomass into liquid biocrude oil. One such source of biomass, microalgae, is being investigated as a promising source of renewable liquid fuel, considering its relatively low requirement for land area and nutrients during cultivation. Microalgae’s biochemical composition can also be manipulated to some extent during cultivation. For example, by depleting nitrogen in the culture media, energy-dense lipids or fatty acids are known to accumulate in microalgal cells.
HTL is directly affected by cell composition, suggesting that it may be possible to tailor feedstocks to achieve optimized HTL products, yields, quality, and energy recovery. However,…>>