This project aims to demonstrate a novel environmentally friendly process called ‘Hydrothermal Electrolysis’ by which organic materials in aqueous solution (with any suitable electrode) can be electrochemically converted into other valuable chemicals using only sub-critical water as a solvent. Hydrothermal electrolysis is normally carried out at a temperature range of 200-300 oC and 5-10 MPa reaction pressures and does not require the use of any catalysts, leading to a cost effective process. In this research activity, biomass will be decomposed into its building blocks and then converted into high value chemicals which have a huge potential to be used in different fields such as pharmaceuticals, intermediates for synthesis of new chemicals, coating, food industry, detergents, cosmetics, etc. by electrolysis in sub-critical water reaction medium without the formation of secondary pollutants indicating the greener point of view of this technique. The multidisciplinary nature of the proposed research will combine engineering and science to overcome the difficulties in the production of value-added chemicals from organic wastes by hydrothermal electrolysis, minimizing the amount of energy consumed for electrolysis with remarkable properties of sub-critical water. This research will advance the application of electrolysis in sub-critical water reaction medium to synthesize value-added chemicals with high yields from organic wastes efficiently and environmentally friendly manner.
Synthesis of Biomass Sourced Value Added Chemicals by Hydrothermal Electrolysis Technique (HYDELTECH)
EC-REA Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Career Integration Grant (CIG) Number: 321741
Enhanced reaction medium
When electrolysis is carried out at hydrothermal conditions, the number of radicals increases.
When water is electrolyzed under normal conditions, hydrogen and oxygen gases are generated. However, if the electrolysis is carried out in sub-critical reaction medium, generation of oxygen can be controlled.
Hydrothermal electrolysis reactor
In this design, titanium beaker acts as cathode and cylindrical electrode is used as anode.