Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) is identified as a promising thermochemical technique to recover biofuels and bioenergy from waste biomass containing low energy and high moisture content. The wastewater generated during the HTL process (HTWW) are rich in nutrients and organics. The release of the nutrients and organics enriched HTWW would not only contaminate the water bodies but also lead to the loss of valued bioenergy sources, especially in the present time of the energy crisis. Thus, biotechnological as well as physicochemical treatment of HTWW for simultaneous extraction of valuable resources along with reduction in polluting substances has gained significant attention in recent times. Therefore, the treatment of wastewater generated during the HTL of biomass for reduced environmental emission and possible bioenergy recovery is highlighted in this paper. Various technologies for treatment and valorisation of HTWW are reviewed, including anaerobic digestion, microbial fuel cells (MFC), microbial electrolysis cell (MEC), and supercritical water gasification (SCWG). This review paper illustrates that the characteristics of biomass play a pivotal role in the selection process of appropriate technology for the treatment of HTWW. Several HTWW treatment technologies are weighed in terms of their benefits and drawbacks and are thoroughly examined. The integration of these technologies is also discussed. Overall, this study suggests that integrating different methods, techno-economic analysis, and nutrient recovery approaches would be advantageous to researchers in finding way for maximising HTWW valorisation along with reduced environmental pollution.
- Hydrothermal liquefaction
- Industrial rejects
- Supercritical water gasification
- Waste valorisation