Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Willner investigated the fundamentals of the direct liquefaction of solid biomass within his doctoral studies. The research in this area came to a sudden stop, due to the falling oil price after the second oil crisis.
Today, however, the liquefaction of biomass as well as waste materials has more potential than ever before. Despite strong innovations in the fields of solar and wind energy, there seems to be no alternative to the production of pure liquid hydrocarbons from fossil resources.
In addition, circumstances such as peak oil and at the same time the rising world’s energy demand by the emerging markets lead to a shortage in the oil supply and therefore rising prices.
Beginning of the development, a one litre system had been build in 2008.
In 2010, a 4 litre system with sump filtration was build.
In 2011, based on the experiences of the 1- and 4-litre systems, the development team was able to build a 20 litre system. It was time for the transition from a mineral heavy oil as reaction phase to a crude-derived sump phase.