Enhancing resource recovery through thermal/hydrothermal processing

Project 1B

Currently, there is no broadly applicable, non-agricultural beneficial use option for biosolids. Incineration dissipates the nitrogen, fixes the phosphorus, is generally energy negative, and has nil community support. Landfill is unsustainable and extremely expensive.

This project will investigate new thermal and chemical technologies such as pyrolysis, gasification and hydrothermal liquefaction (through an ICPD) to effectively capture chemical and energy resources, leading to development of a zero-waste processing route.  The aim will be to develop a comprehensive technology assessment tool that can assist water industries in selecting thermal/hydrothermal technology for regional and urban settings.

The HDR projects will specifically investigate hydrothermal liquefaction, pyrolysis and gasification as key future technology options.  The HDR projects will focus on:

  1. Identification of optimum process conditions for producing high-value products for hydrothermal processing, and
  2. Investigation of the fate of nutrients mainly in the solids and aqueous streams in thermochemical processing such as pyrolysis, gasification and hydrothermal liquefaction.

Our team

Kalpit 2021 (2)

A/Prof Kalpit Shah

Lead Chief Investigator

RMIT University


Prof Damien Batstone

Chief Investigator

University of Queensland


Dr Savankumar Patel

Industry Centre Post doc

RMIT University


A/Prof Thomas Wiedmann

University of New South Wales