Journal article Open Access

Recent Advances in Hydrothermal Carbonisation: From Tailored Carbon Materials and Biochemicals to Applications and Bioenergy

Sabina A.Nicolae; Heather Au; Pierpaolo Modugno; Hui Luo; Anthony E. Szego; Mo Qiao; Liang Li; Wang Yin; Hero J. Heeres; Nicole Berge; Magda Titirici

Introduced in the literature in 1913 by Bergius, who at the time was studying biomass coalification, Hydrothermal Carbonisation, as many other technologies based on renewables, was forgotten during the “industrial revolution”. It was rediscovered back in 2005, on the one hand, to follow the trend set by Bergius of biomass to coal for decentralised energy generation, and on the other hand as a novel green method to prepare advanced carbon materials and chemicals from biomass in water, under mild temperatures for energy storage and conversion and environmental protection. In this review, we will present an overview on the latest trends in Hydrothermal Carbonisation to include biomass to bioenergy, upgrading of hydrothermal carbons to fuels over heterogenous catalysts, advanced carbon materials and their application in batteries, electrocatalysis and heterogenous catalysis and finally an analysis of the chemicals in the liquid phase as well as a new family of fluorescent nanomaterials formed at the interface between the liquid and the solid phase, known as hydrothermal carbon nanodots.

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