Waste animal fat with hydrothermal liquefaction as a potential route to marine biofuels

Efraim Steinbruch, Siddaq Singh, Maya Mosseri, Michael Epstein, Abraham Kribus, Michael Gozin, Dušan Drabik, Alexander Golberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Unused animal waste rendered fat is a potential feedstock for marine biofuels. In this work, bio-oil was generated using hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of nitrogen-free and low sulfur rendered bovine fat. Maximum bio-oil yield of 28 ± 1.5% and high heating value of 38.5 ± 0.16 MJ·kg‒1 was obtained at 330 C at 50% animal fat solid load and 20 min retention time. The nitrogen and sulfur content were negligible, making the produced bio-oil useful marine biofuel, taking into account current stringent regulations on NOx and SOx emissions. The economic analysis of the process, where part of the bovine fat waste is converted to the bio-oil and the semi-solid residues can be used to supply the heat demand of the HTL process and alternately generate electricity, showed that our process is likely to generate a positive profit margin on a large scale. We also showed the growing economic importance of electricity in the revenues as commercial production becomes more energy efficient.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere16504
StatePublished - 2023


FundersFunder number
Agentúra na Podporu Výskumu a VývojaAPVV-19-0544, Drive4SIFood 313011V336
European Regional Development Fund
Ministry of Energy, Israel219-11-138


    • Animal fat
    • Bio-oil
    • Biocrude
    • Hydrothermal liquefaction
    • Marine fuels


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