An assessment of different integration strategies of hydrothermal carbonisation and anaerobic digestion of water hyacinth

Authors Organisations
  • Aaron Brown(Author)
    University of Leeds
  • Jessica Adams(Author)
  • Oliver Grasham(Author)
    University of Leeds
  • Miller Carmargo-Valero(Author)
    University of Leeds
    Universidad Nacional de Colombia
  • Andrew Ross(Author)
    University of Leeds
Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Article number5983
Number of pages26
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2020
Permanent link
Show download statistics
View graph of relations
Citation formats


Water hyacinth (WH) is an invasive aquatic macrophyte that dominates freshwater bodies across the world. However, due to its rapid growth rate and wide-spread global presence, WH could offer great potential as a biomass feedstock, including for bioenergy generation. This study compares different integration strategies of hydrothermal carbonisation (HTC) and anaerobic digestion (AD) using WH, across a range of temperatures. These include (i) hydrochar combustion and process water digestion, (ii) hydrochar digestion, (iii) slurry digestion. HTC reactions were conducted at 150 °C, 200 °C, and 250 °C. Separation of hydrochars for combustion and process waters for digestion offers the most energetically-feasible valorisation route. However, hydrochars produced from WH display slagging and fouling tendencies; limiting their use in large-scale combustion. AD of WH slurry produced at 150 °C appears to be energetically-feasible and has the potential to also be a viable integration strategy between HTC and AD, using WH.


  • Anaerobic digestion, Biomethane, Hydrochar, Hydrothermal carbonization, Process water, Water hyacinth