Aims and Objectives

At present, approximately 88% of European demand for crude oil is met from imports. On the other hand many European countries have substantial reserves of coal, including low-grade lignite. Although, lignite remains a crucial contributor to the energy supply in many European countries, its specific physicochemical properties impose many restrictions on their handling and utilisation. As a consequence lignite is primarily used for electricity production close to the mining sites with significant carbon footprint of the overall production chain.

Thermochemical conversion of lignites to valuable end products like liquid fuels and chemicals, which can be further transported effectively and safely to the end-user, is a promising option to utilise these resources more effectively. Also biomass like sewage sludge and lignocellulose poses properties, which also may process this feedstock in the

same way as lignites.

The HyCon project aims to make significant advances beyond “state of the art” and evaluate the potential of biomass and low-grade and high-moisture lignites for the production of synthetic liquid fuels and valueadded chemicals through a hydrothermal liquefaction process (HTL). The hydrothermal treatment is well suited for the processing of high-moisture feedstocks because water is used as a main reaction


These biomass and coal-derived synthetic fuels could be integrated into European oil market and reduce European dependence on oil imports. The HyCon project is focusing on different kind of biomass like sewage sludge and lignocellulose and representative lignite deposits in Poland, with the ultimate objective to validate the HTL technology for the production of valuable hydrocarbon products to technology readiness level between 4-5. This objective will be realized through an intensive experimental programme of catalytic HTL under inert and reactive atmospheres in batch scale and continuous mode laboratory experiments.



Start time: 01.09.2020

Duration: 3 years