Development of resource-efficient chemical processes, part 2
Research Project, 2020 –

In this WP we are focused on developing energy efficient biorefinery concepts with a high overall material yield. Of great importance is to use a plentiful and cheap raw material, e.g. wood residue, and to maximize the value of the products. Particular in this WP the main product will be bio-oil from lignin the method investigated is hydrothermal liquefaction. We have started a co-operation with Aalborg University to find efficient capping agents, which is a key-question to industrialize this method. The expected key-challenge is the removal of water from product streams. The three main separation unit operations which will be used are: evaporation, filtration and membrane separation. A multi-stage evaporation is a very energy efficient method for removal of water from a solution. The design of the heat transfer area is of crucial importance both regarding high heat transfer rate as well as avoiding deposition. Both these subjects are the focus of our research. Many of the intermediate as well as final products are solids (nano to micro scale particles) which needs to be dewatered. A far driven dewatering using filtration will result in a very energy efficient process. These new types of solid particles may in most cases be characterized as hard to filter materials. This calls for novel filtration methods which is the focus of our research. Cross flow membrane separation for both concentration and fractionation of various wood constituents offers
an energy efficient method for removing a substantial amount of water from very diluted streams (a pre-step before filtration) as well as purification of heterogeneous mixtures. The major challenge in
utilizing membrane separation in these applications is to counteract fouling. For all three unit operations we have developed unique test rigs (worldwide) which allows us to make a significant contribution in the development of energy efficient bio-refineries. Collaboration partners are e.g., StoraEnso, Södra, Valmet, TetraPak, Lund University, Aalborg University, Lappeenranta university of technology. Researchers involved are prof. Hans Theliander (WP-leader), assoc. prof. Merima Hasani, Dr. Tuve Mattsson, Dr. Anders Åkesjö and Dr. Huyen Lyckeskog. 


Hans Theliander (contact)

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Anders Åkesjö

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Merima Hasani

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Huyen Lyckeskog

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Tuve Mattsson

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology


Aalborg University

Aalborg, Denmark

Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology (LUT)

Lappeenranta, Finland

Lund University

Lund, Sweden

Tetra Pak

Lund, Sweden


Tampere, Finland



Funding Chalmers participation during 2020–

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