Skip to Content
Find More Like This
Return to Search

Biomass and Coal into Liquid Fuel with CO2 Capture

New Single-step hydrolysis process co-converts coal and any biomass to liquid fuel

Savannah River National Laboratory

Contact SRNL About This Technology

Technology Marketing Summary

A scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah River National Laboratory has developed a new and efficient process to produce biofuels from coal and other biomass. The new single-step hydrolysis process co-converts coal and any biomass to a liquid fuel while generating a high purity carbon dioxide as a byproduct.


For most of the twentieth century there have been numerous methods to convert coal to liquid. The three primary methods have been pyrolysis/carbonization, hydrogenation, and indirect gas-to-liquids (Fisher-Tropsch). These methods are typically energy intensive, multi-step, or economically inefficient. This new invention could have economic significance as it eliminates costly hydrogen production in coal liquifaction. It also converts lignin and cellulose easily which are unconvertible in biomass fermentation. The new liquefaction method involves the addition of a proprietary catalyst with water and autoclaved at 200-350 degrees centegrade to yield a liquefied product that is soluble in tetrahydrofuran. The process, which can substitute water for an alcohol had been found to generate 95% liquid yield with a nearly pure recoverable carbon dioxide byproduct. Data analysis of this product from coal has shown an increase in hydrogen and carbon content with a decrease in sulfur, nitrogen, oxygen, and ash.

  • Single-step process applicable to a variety of feedstocks
  • Pure CO2 by-product
  • High yields
  • No hydrogen required
  • Patent pending
Applications and Industries

This technology has market applications for biomass, or coal conversion into transportation fuels. This process provides potential energy and environmental benefits as well as profitability to major oil companies, biomass producers, biorefiners, coal mining and federal and state governments.

More Information

US Provisional Patent Application Filed - 61/274,582

SRNS invites interested companies with proven capabilities in this area of expertise to develop commercial applications for this process or product under a cooperative research and development agreement or licensing agreement. Interested companies will be requested to submit a business plan setting forth company qualifications, strategies, activities, and milestones for commercializing this invention. Qualifications should include past experience at bringing similar products to market, reasonable schedule for product launch, sufficient manufacturing capacity, established distribution networks, and evidence of sufficient financial resources for product development and launch.

Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 8,674,152
Coal liquefaction by base-catalyzed hydrolysis with CO.sub.2 capture
The one-step hydrolysis of diverse biomaterials including coal, cellulose materials such as lumber and forestry waste, non-food crop waste, lignin, vegetable oils, animal fats and other source materials used for biofuels under mild processing conditions which results in the formation of a liquid fuel product along with the recovery of a high purity CO.sub.2 product is provided.
Savannah River National Laboratory 03/18/2014
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated

Contact SRNL About This Technology

To: Dale Haas, Commercialization Manager<>