Liquefaction production plant launched


South Africa’s first continuous hydrothermal liquefaction plant was launched at North-West University (NWU) on 16 March 2017, which will result in the production of bio-oils, bio-char, biochemicals and biogas. The plant is one of the outputs of the Department of Science and Technology (and the National Research Foundation-supported South African Research Chairs Initiative (Sarchi), particularly of the the Biofuels Sarchi at NWU headed by Professor Sanette Marx). The plant can process dry plant matter, or ligno-cellulose biomass, in water feed of 150 l/h at a residence time of 10 min, the highest capacity of its sort currently. The plant is designed to operate at 350°C and pressures of 100 bar. The plant at the North-West University was designed, constructed and commissioned by Mass and Heat Transfer Technology (MHTT), a design and engineering company based in Johannesburg, founded and owned by Christo van den Heever and Pieter van Staden, both alumni of the NWU’s School of Chemical and Minerals Engineering.

Contact Christo van den Heever, MHTT, Tel 011 675-0100,


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