Hydrothermal conversion of corn cobs and crude glycerol

J. Gan, W. Yuan, N. O. Nelson, S. C. Agudelo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The effect of operating parameters including reaction temperature, retention time, and biomass content on bio-oil yield from hydrothermal conversion of corn cobs was investigated. The highest bio-oil yield of 23.9% on the basis of biomass dry weight was obtained at 305°C, 20 min retention time, and 10% biomass content. At these conditions, the effect of crude glycerol on bio-oil yield and quality was studied. Bio-oil yield based on the total weight of corn cobs and crude glycerol remained almost constant at approximately 24% when the ratio of crude glycerol/corn cobs was below 3. When more crude glycerol was added, bio-oil yield dramatically increased to 36.3%. H2 molar percentage in the gas product increased from 11.1% to 27.5% as the crude glycerol/corn cobs ratio increased from 0 to 5. Bio-oil quality in terms of density and viscosity was also enhanced; however, oxygen content in bio-oil increased from 15.5% to 19.9%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-210
Number of pages14
JournalBiological Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Bio-char
  • Bio-oil
  • Corn cobs
  • Crude glycerol
  • Hydrothermal conversion
  • Liquefaction


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