Hydrothermal Carbonization of Cattle Paunch Waste: Process Conditions and Product Characteristics

Gwenella Saverettiar, Dan Li, Amit Gross, Goen Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In abattoir operation, paunch waste can present a major problem when flushed with water and discharged. Collected and processed separately, it provides a means of reusing organic carbon and nutrients. Hydrothermal carbonisation (HTC) is a means to process the waste that overcomes some problems of composting and anaerobic digestion. Experiments were conducted to investigate HTC of cattle paunch waste to hydrochar under different conditions. The fuel characteristics of hydrochar were tested for the potential in electricity generation and the nutrient concentrations of liquid were analysed for soil fertilization. The carbon content of paunch increased (∼15%) after HTC. It was also reflected in its increasing calorific value. The changes in the H/C and O/C ratios, analysed using the van Krevelen diagram, showed that the fuel properties of hydrochar improved noticeably after carbonisation. The TOC and TN concentrations in the liquid changed significantly with increasing temperature and time. With increasing moisture, the nutrient concentrations decreased, because of dilution effect. The liquid product contained significant levels of N, C and K; but may need suitable dilution before applying as a fertiliser. An energy balance showed that a fraction (<45%) of the hydrochar combustion energy was required to provide the input energy for HTC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104487
JournalJournal of Environmental Chemical Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • aqueous phase
  • energy balance
  • hydrochar
  • hydrothermal carbonisation
  • paunch waste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Hydrothermal Carbonization of Cattle Paunch Waste: Process Conditions and Product Characteristics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this