After 40 years of research and development, liquefaction technologies are now being demonstrated at 200–3000 tons per year scale to convert lignocellulosic biomass to biocrudes for use as heavy fuel or for upgrading to biofuels. This Review attempts to present the various facets of the liquefaction process in a tutorial manner. Emphasis is placed on liquefaction in high-boiling solvents, with regular reference to liquefaction in subcritical water or other light-boiling solvents. Reaction chemistry, solvent selection, role of optional catalyst as well as biocrude composition and properties are discussed in depth. Challenges in biomass feeding and options for biocrude–solvent separation are addressed. Process concepts are reviewed and demonstration/commercialization efforts are presented.
- Industrial scale