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Patrick Biller


Current position: Assistant Professor, Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering, Aarhus University, Denmark

During his AIAS-COFUND Fellowship Postdoc Patrick Biller worked on the project "Interdisciplinary production of biofuels via hydrothermal treatment".

Project at AIAS

Development of renewable transportation fuels is crucial for solving two of Europe's most urgent challenges: energy security and mitigation of climate change. The proposed research falls in the strategic area of Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) which is emerging as an innovative technique for the production of liquid transportation fuels. During the conversion process, high temperature and pressure is applied to biomass feedstocks in aqueous slurries, resulting in a fuel similar to petroleum crude. The process mimics the process of fossil fuel creation which has taken place over millions of years, where heat and high pressure was applied to biomass under the earth surface, resulting in our current petroleum, coal and natural gas reserves. My work can replicate this process in a matter of minutes. The advantages of the technology are its high versatility in terms of feedstocks and products. The produced bio-crude is upgraded to fuels suitable for existing infrastructure.

I will be working closely with scientists from the Department of Chemistry and Engineering and with one of the world’s largest HTL pilot plants at the Aarhus Foulum Campus. The aims of my research include reducing the overall costs of the process by reducing waste and optimising the recovery of the chemical energy available in the biomass. I will also be working on optimising the fuel quality so it can be used directly in existing infrastructure. A techno-economic and environmental assessment will be carried out to assess the sustainability of the overall biofuel concept.

Project title:

Interdisciplinary production of biofuels via hydrothermal treatment

Area of research:

Science and Technology

Fellowship period:

1 Oct 2016 – 31 May 2017 

Fellowship type:

AIAS-COFUND Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow

This fellowship has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 609033 and The Aarhus University Research Foundation.