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Hydrothermal liquefaction - HTL

The HTL conversion process occurs in liquid phase, with water used as the reactive medium.

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During the process, the feedstock decomposes forming solids, a liquid phase, consisting of aqueous and oily streams and a small amount of gas.

It is ideal for processing wet biomass since large thermal energy savings can be achieved by avoiding the drying step that is required in conventional thermal processes. Moreover, the energy used to heat up the feedstock in the HTL process can be recovered effectively from product streams. This leads to high energy efficiencies from raw feedstock to the biocrude of the HTL step.

We work within these areas:

  • Testing of biomass properties in HTL processes
  • HTL product (HTL biocrude and HTL char) characterization and valorization
  • Hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) for production of biochar from wet residues
  • Model development for HTL processes
  • Optimization of HTL processes
  • Energy efficiency in HTL processes
  • Emission minimization in HTL processes
  • Techno-economic studies


Our projects range from feasibility studies to larger scale testing. We are specialists in techno-economic evaluation and have experimental facilities covering the majority of the value chain.

Why choose SINTEF?

SINTEF offers a unique laboratory infrastructure for investigation of HTL of wet biomass and residues. We are a team of specialists in experiments and modelling offering quality assured results with industry relevance. We work with Norwegian and international industry, raw material suppliers, technology providers and end-users.


Relevant projects