(Hydrogen Assisted Catalytic Biomass Pyrolysis for Green Fuels)


This project aims at developing a new process for producing high quality bio-oil which can be used as fuel for the transportation sector using the current infrastructure. The process is catalytic hydropyrolysis of biomass with hydrogenation to remove oxygen as water. The process utilizes only 2nd generation non-food biomass.


In order to be independent of fossil fuels it is vital to convert biomass to liquid fuels which can be integrated in the current transportation infrastructure. Biomass can be converted to bio-oil, along with char and gas, by flash heating (pyrolysis) to 400 to 500 °C in oxygen free atmosphere. The properties of this bio-oil are very different from crude oil, since it is made of oxygen containing hydrocarbons and contains large amount of water, thus it requires upgrading. 

The Project

The aim of this project is to develop an integrated process of high-pressure pyrolysis of biomass with catalytic hydrotreating before condensation of the liquid product. This bio-oil will be a mixture of diesel and gasoline fuels. The process utilizes non-food, second generation biomass like straw and wood; hydrogen produced by electrolysis using sustainable sources like wind and solar energy and it is expected to have a higher energy recovery compared to bio-ethanol production. Lab-scale process equipment for continuous, pressurized pyrolysis will be constructed in order to demonstrate and optimize the process and develop suitable catalysts. The produced oil will be extensively characterized for composition, viscosity, energy density and miscibility with fossil fuels in order to evaluate its fuel properties.

The project is a consortium of leading research experts in Denmark (DTU), Germany (KIT) and USA (Stanford) and the company Haldor Topsøe A/S.

The project is funded by The Danish Council for Strategic Research, The Programme Commission on Sustainable Energy and Environment.

360 video of H2CAP equipment

Watch the 360-video from the pilot plant at DTU Chemical Engineering as the bio-oil is being collected from the H2CAP equipment. Be sure to use a chrome browser to get the full 360 experience. Use the mouse to move around in the video. 



H2CAP Partners

  • DTU Mechanical Engineering

  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

  • Stanford University

  • Haldor Topsøe A/S

DTU Project Staff

Anker Degn Jensen
DTU Chemical Engineering
+45 45 25 28 41
Peter Arendt Jensen
Senior Researcher
DTU Chemical Engineering
+45 45 25 28 49
Martin Høj
Associate Professor
DTU Chemical Engineering
+45 45 25 28 42
Lasse Røngaard Clausen
Associate Professor
DTU Construct
+45 45 25 41 65
Brian Elmegaard
Head of Section, Professor
DTU Construct
+45 45 25 41 69