Nitrogen-Containing Hydrochar : The Influence of Nitrogen-Containing Compounds on the Hydrochar Formation
Hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) of fructose and urea containing solutions was conducted at 180 °C to study the influence of nitrogen-containing compounds on the conversion process and HTC products properties. The concentration of fructose was fixed, while the concentration of urea was gradually increased to study its influence on the formation of nitrogen-containing hydrochar (N−HC). The degradation of urea has an important influence on the HTC of fructose. The Maillard reaction (MR) promotes the formation of N−HC in acidic conditions. However, in alkaline conditions, MR promotes the formation of bio-oil at the expense of N−HC. Alkaline conditions reduce N−HC yield by catalyzing fragmentation reactions of fructose and by promoting the isomerization of fructose to glucose. The results showed that adjusting the concentration of nitrogen-containing compounds or the pH value of the reaction environment is important to force the reaction toward the formation of N−HC or N-bio-oil.