Two steps in one


Readest (c) Kröhnert, HAW
Readest (© Kröhnert, HAW)

Reactive distillation

Reactive distillation combines two process steps: distillation and chemical reaction in one pot. We intend to produce a bio crude oil through liquefaction of lignocellulosic materials. The intermediate products should be conditioned for further conversion to fuels in oil refineries.

Background and Objective

We liquefy lignocellulosic materials (wood, straw) in a slurry-phase reactor at atmospheric pressure without catalyst. At the same time, lower molecular weight products are distilled. We want to investigate the stability of the slurry phase and thus demonstrate the feasibility of the reactive destillation principle in a long duration run.


It is a joint project with the Competence Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency of the University of Applied Science Hamburg (HAW). HAW is testing biomass liquefaction in long duration runs at laboratory scale, calculates energy- and mass balances, generates data for economic evaluation and design of a pilot palnt. HF develops analytical methods for the characterization of the slurry phase and products. The feedback helps to optimize the liquefaction process by reactive destillation.

Our Research Questions

Is it possible to liquefy lignocelluloses by reactive distillation?

Is it possible to generate a stable slurry phase?

Preliminary Results

First results will be available in spring 2015.

Links and Downloads


Involved Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e.V. (FNR)
    (national, öffentlich)