During HTC biomass is usually subjected to high temperatures between 160 to 250°C under water. In order to prevent the water from evaporating this conversion is taking place under elevated pressure of 10 to 60 bar. Under these conditions water is emitted from the carbohydrate backbone of the biomass and new structures are formed from the carbon fragments. After drying of carbon slurries produced this way a versatile bio coal is won.

Owing to our close collaboration with the Max-Planck-Institute for Colloids and Interfaces we were able to reduce the time frame for this conversion from several hours down to 90 minutes. This acceleration allows the process to take place in significantly smaller and more efficient equipment than was possible before.

In contrast to a standard procedure batch processing, which is also the standard method in laboratory scale, the core element of carbonSolutions technology, the CS countercurrent reactor, is operating fully continuously.

The prototype of such a CS-HTC90™ plant was successfully commissioned in October 2010. It is fully approved as waste treatment facility according to German legislation (BImSchG) and is since providing the basis for further development.