AIMS Energy, 2016, 4(1): 173-189. doi: 10.3934/energy.2016.1.173

Research article

Export file:


  • RIS(for EndNote,Reference Manager,ProCite)
  • BibTex
  • Text


  • Citation Only
  • Citation and Abstract

Hydrothermal carbonization of glucose in saline solution: sequestration of nutrients on carbonaceous materials

1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, 1 Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701, USA
2 Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno, 1664 N. Virginia Street, Reno, NV 89557, USA
3 APECS Group, Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering (ATB), Max-Eyth-Allee 100, Potsdam 14469, Germany
4 Energy Process Engineering and Conversion Technologies for Renewable Energies (EVUR), Technische Universität Berlin, Fasanenstraße 89, 10623 Berlin, Germany
5 Institute for Photovoltaics (ipv), University of Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 47, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany

In this study, feasibility of selected nutrient sequestration during hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) was tested for three different HTC temperatures (180, 230, and 300 °C). To study the nutrient sequestration in solid from liquid solution, sugar and salt solutions were chosen as HTC feedstock. Glucose was used as carbohydrate source and various salts e.g., ammonium hydrophosphate, potassium chloride, potassium sulfate, and anhydrous ferric chloride were used as source of nitrogen and phosphorus, potassium, and iron, respectively. Solid hydrochar was extensively characterized by means of elemental, ICP-OES, SEM-EDX, surface area, pore volume and size, and ATR-FTIR to determine nutrients’ sequestration as well as hydrochar quality variation with HTC temperatures. The spherical mesoporous hydrochars produced during HTC have low surface area in the range of 1.0–3.5 m2 g−1. Hydrochar yield was increased about 10% with the increase of temperature from 180 °C to 300 °C. Nutrient sequestration was also increased with HTC temperature. In fact, around 71, 31, and 23 wt% nitrogen, iron, and phosphorus were sequestered at 300 °C, respectively. Potassium sequestration was very low throughout the HTC and maximum 5.2% was observed in solid during HTC.
  Article Metrics


1. Reza MT, Lynam JG, Vasquez VR, et al. (2012) Pelletization of Biochar from Hydrothermally Carbonized Wood. Environ Prog Sustain 31: 225-234.    

2. Reza MT, Lynam JG, Uddin MH, et al. (2013) Hydrothermal carbonization: Fate of inorganics. Biomass Bioenerg 49: 86-94.    

3. Reza MT, Borrego AG, Wirth B (2014) Optical texture of hydrochar from maize silage and maize silage digestate. Int J of Coal Geology 134–135: 74-79.

4. Reza MT, Becker W, Sachsenheimer K, et al. (2014) Hydrothermal carbonization (HTC): Near infrared spectroscopy and partial least-squares regression for determination of selective components in HTC solid and liquid products derived from maize silage. Bioresource Technol 161: 91-101.    

5. Lynam J, Reza MT, Yan W, et al. (2014) Hydrothermal carbonization of various lignocellulosic biomass. Biomass Conv Bioref : 1-9.

6. Coronella C, Lynam J, Reza MT, et al. (2014) Hydrothermal Carbonization of Lignocellulosic Biomass. In: Jin F, editor. Application of Hydrothermal Reactions to Biomass Conversion: Springer Berlin Heidelberg: 275-311.

7. Liu ZG, Quek A, Parshetti G, et al. (2013) A study of nitrogen conversion and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) emissions during hydrochar-lignite co-pyrolysis. Appl Energ 108: 74-81.    

8. Reza MT, Andert J, Wirth B, et al. (2014) Hydrothermal Carbonization of Biomass for Energy and Crop Production. Applied Bioenergy 1: 11-29.

9. Demir-Cakan R, Makowski P, Antonietti M, et al. (2010) Hydrothermal synthesis of imidazole functionalized carbon spheres and their application in catalysis. Catal Today 150: 115-118.    

10. Bandura AV, Lvov SN (2006) The ionization constant of water over wide ranges of temperature and density. J Phys Chem Ref Data 35: 15-30.    

11. Reza MT, Yan W, Uddin MH, et al. (2013) Reaction kinetics of hydrothermal carbonization of loblolly pine. Bioresource Technol 139: 161-169.    

12. Reza MT, Uddin MH, Lynam J, et al. (2014) Hydrothermal carbonization of loblolly pine: reaction chemistry and water balance. Biomass Conv Bioref 4: 311-321.    

13. Wiedner K, Naisse C, Rumpel C, et al. (2013) Chemical modification of biomass residues during hydrothermal carbonization - What makes the difference, temperature or feedstock? Org Geochem 54: 91-100.    

14. Funke A (2015) Fate of Plant Available Nutrients during Hydrothermal Carbonization of Digestate. Chemie Ingenieur Technik 87: 1713-1719.    

15. Heilmann SM, Molde JS, Timler JG, et al. (2014) Phosphorus Reclamation through Hydrothermal Carbonization of Animal Manures. Environ Sci Technol 48: 10323-10329.    

16. Funke A, Mumme J, Koon M, et al. (2013) Cascaded production of biogas and hydrochar from wheat straw: Energetic potential and recovery of carbon and plant nutrients. Biomass Bioenerg 58: 229-237.

17. Heilmann SM, Davis HT, Jader LR, et al. (2010) Hydrothermal carbonization of microalgae. Biomass Bioenerg 34: 875-882.    

18. Sevilla M, Fuertes AB (2009) The production of carbon materials by hydrothermal carbonization of cellulose. Carbon 47: 2281-2289.    

19. Funke A, Ziegler F (2010) Hydrothermal carbonization of biomass: A summary and discussion of chemical mechanisms for process engineering. Biofuel Bioprod Bior 4: 160-1677.    

20. Kruse A, Funke A, Titirici MM (2013) Hydrothermal conversion of biomass to fuels and energetic materials. Curr Opin Chem Biol 17: 515-521.    

21. Zhu XD, Liu YC, Luo G, et al. (2014) Facile Fabrication of Magnetic Carbon Composites from Hydrochar via Simultaneous Activation and Magnetization for Triclosan Adsorption. Environ Sci Technol 48: 5840-5848.

22. Kumar S, Loganathan VA, Gupta RB, et al. (2011) An Assessment of U(VI) removal from groundwater using biochar produced from hydrothermal carbonization. J Environ Manage 92: 2504-2512.    

23. Regmi P, Moscoso JLG, Kumar S, et al. (2012) Removal of copper and cadmium from aqueous solution using switchgrass biochar produced via hydrothermal carbonization process. J Environ Manage 109: 61-69.    

24. Hu B, Wang K, Wu LH, et al. (2010) Engineering Carbon Materials from the Hydrothermal Carbonization Process of Biomass. Adv Mater 22: 813-828.    

25. Demir-Cakan R, Baccile N, Antonietti M, et al. (2009) Carboxylate-Rich Carbonaceous Materials via One-Step Hydrothermal Carbonization of Glucose in the Presence of Acrylic Acid. Chem Mater 21: 484-490.    

26. Baccile N, Laurent G, Babonneau F, et al. (2009) Structural Characterization of Hydrothermal Carbon Spheres by Advanced Solid-State MAS C-13 NMR Investigations. J Phys Chem C 113: 9644-9654.

27. Baccile N, Antonietti M, Titirici MM (2010) One-Step Hydrothermal Synthesis of Nitrogen-Doped Nanocarbons: Albumine Directing the Carbonization of Glucose. Chemsuschem 3: 246-253.    

28. Zhao L, Bacsik Z, Hedin N, et al. (2010) Carbon Dioxide Capture on Amine-Rich Carbonaceous Materials Derived from Glucose. Chemsuschem 3: 840-845.    

29. Fechler N, Wohlgemuth SA, Jaker P, et al. (2013) Salt and sugar: direct synthesis of high surface area carbon materials at low temperatures via hydrothermal carbonization of glucose under hypersaline conditions. J Mater Chem A 1: 9418-9421.    

30. Reza MT, Rottler E, Tolle R, et al. (2015) Production, characterization, and biogas application of magnetic hydrochar from cellulose. Bioresource Technol 186: 34-43.    

31. Sevilla M, Fuertes AB (2009) Chemical and Structural Properties of Carbonaceous Products Obtained by Hydrothermal Carbonization of Saccharides. Chem-Eur J 15: 4195-4203.    

32. Titirici MM, Antonietti M (2010) Chemistry and materials options of sustainable carbon materials made by hydrothermal carbonization. Chem Soc Rev 39: 103-116.    

33. Sevilla M, Fuertes AB (2009) Chemical and structural properties of carbonaceous products obtained by hydrothermal carbonization of saccharides. Chemistry 15: 4195-4203.    

34. Cao XD, Ma LN, Gao B, et al. (2009) Dairy-Manure Derived Biochar Effectively Sorbs Lead and Atrazine. Environ Sci Technol 43: 3285-3291.    

35. Diakite M, Paul A, Jager C, et al. (2013) Chemical and morphological changes in hydrochars derived from microcrystalline cellulose and investigated by chromatographic, spectroscopic and adsorption techniques. Bioresource Technol 150: 98-105.    

36. Si Y, Ren T, Li Y, et al. (2012) Fabrication of magnetic polybenzoxazine-based carbon nanofibers with Fe3O4 inclusions with a hierarchical porous structure for water treatment. Carbon 50: 5176-5185.

37. Lynam JG, Reza MT, Vasquez VR, et al. (2012) Effect of salt addition on hydrothermal carbonization of lignocellulosic biomass. Fuel 99: 271-273.    

38. Ryu J, Suh YW, Suh DJ, et al. (2010) Hydrothermal preparation of carbon microspheres from mono-saccharides and phenolic compounds. Carbon 48: 1990-1998.    

39. Peterson AA, Vogel F, Lachance RP, et al. (2008) Thermochemical biofuel production in hydrothermal media: A review of sub- and supercritical water technologies. Energy Env Sci 1: 32-65.

40. Danso-Boateng E, Shama G, Wheatley AD, et al. (2008) Hydrothermal carbonisation of sewage sludge: Effect of process conditions on product characteristics and methane production. Bioresource technology 177: 318-327.

Copyright Info: © 2016, M Toufiq Reza, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (

Download full text in PDF

Export Citation

Article outline

Show full outline
Copyright © AIMS Press All Rights Reserved