Review of Biomass Conversion in High Pressure High Temperature Water (HHW) Including Recent Experimental Results (Isomerization and Carbonization)

  • Masaru WatanabeEmail author
  • Taku M. Aida
  • Richard Lee Smith
Part of the Green Chemistry and Sustainable Technology book series (GCST)


In this chapter, we briefly explain unique properties of high pressure high temperature water (HHW). In high pressure media, concentration of reactant can be controlled by changing temperature and pressure, and the reaction rate (also product distribution) can be controlled. In addition, in the presence of solvent (water is concerned here), the properties of the solvent can also be adjusted by pressure and temperature, and the control of solvent properties can help to improve the reaction rate and selectivity. Some of important reactions occurring in the high pressure high temperature water (HHW) media are summarized and the relationship between the reactions and the products is roughly categorized into gasification, liquefaction, and carbonization. Briefly, over 400 °C, radical reaction is dominant and thus gasification (small fragment formation) occurs. Between 200 and 400 °C, both ionic and radial reactions competitively occur and biomass conversion can be controlled widely by changing temperature and pressures. Therefore, production of chemical block for industries is performed in the temperature range. Below 200 °C, namely low temperature and high density of water (liquid phase of water), hydrolysis and dehydration are favored because ionic reactions are predominant. Through dehydration between molecules (high concentration condition is preferred), carbonization is also developed. Concerning each product category, our research topics are briefly overviewed. Finally, our recent experimental results for isomerization of glucose and carbonization of biomass are roughly introduced.


Partial Oxidation Carbonaceous Material Supercritical Water Water Loading Biomass Conversion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masaru Watanabe
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Taku M. Aida
    • 2
  • Richard Lee Smith
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Research Center of Supercritical Fluid TechnologyTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  2. 2.Department of Environmental StudyTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan

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