student and faculty conducting research

PhD Students and Post-Doctoral Researchers

Wan-Ting Chen

  • Advisor:
      • Yuanhui Zhang
  • Departments:
    • Agricultural and Biological Engineering
  • Areas of Expertise:
      • Biomass Conversion
      • Wastewater Treatment Systems
      • Reaction Engineering
      • Life Cycle Analysis
      • Supercritical Fluids

  • Thesis Title:
      • Upgrading Biocrude Oil Converted from Wet Biowaste via Hydrothermal Liquefaction
  • Thesis abstract:
      • Increasing wet biowaste production has become an unavoidable issue in the US. Although often considered as pollutants, these wet biowastes contain unharnessed energy and nutrients that could potentially replace all US oil imports. One of the main reasons this energy and associated nutrients are not effectively harvested is the high water content of wet biowaste. My research aims to recover the energy and nutrients from the wet biowaste with an energy-efficient waste remediation system. I have demonstrated that the biocrude oil can be successfully converted from biowaste via hydrothermal liquefaction, which can directly convert biowaste into biofuel and resolve the bottleneck of drying issue. Furthermore, distillation was employed to effectively separate the biocrude oil into different fractions that present heating values similar to those of petroleum. The developing aviation biofuel, prepared with 10 wt.% distillates and 90 wt.% petroleum jet fuel, exhibited similar density, viscosity, total sulfur content, and net heat of combustion as those of petroleum jet fuel. Ultimately, my goal is to replace one billion tons of crude oil imported and mitigate 22.4 billion kg greenhouse gas emission by converting wet biowastes into biofuel with the development of an up-scaled reactor.
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