Hydrothermal and Supercritical Water Processes

Hydrothermal and Supercritical Water Processes

1st Edition - April 4, 2014

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  • Author: Gerd Brunner
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780444594136
  • eBook ISBN: 9780444594181

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Hydrothermal and Supercritical Water Processes presents an overview on the properties and applications of water at elevated temperatures and pressures. It combines fundamentals with production process aspects. Water is an extraordinary substance. At elevated temperatures (and pressures) its properties change dramatically due to the modifications of the molecular structure of bulk water that varies from a stable three-dimensional network, formed by hydrogen bonds at low and moderate temperatures, to an assembly of separated polar water molecules at high and supercritical temperatures. With varying pressure and temperature, water is turned from a solvent for ionic species to a solvent for polar and non-polar substances. This variability and an enhanced reactivity of water have led to many practical applications and to even more research activities, related to such areas as energy transfer, extraction of functional molecules, unique chemical reactions, biomass conversion and fuel materials processing, destruction of dangerous compounds and recycling of useful ones, growth of monolithic crystals, and preparation of metallic nanoparticles. This book provides an introduction into the wide range of activities that are possible in aqueous mixtures. It is organized to facilitate understanding of the main features, outlines the main applications, and gives access to further information

Key Features

  • Summarizes fundamental properties of water for engineering applications
  • Compares process and reactor designs
  • Evaluates processes from thermodynamic, economic, and social impact viewpoints


Chemical Engineers, professionals in research and development in chemical industries, environmental and energy-related industries; process engineers, physical and geochemists, physicists in applied research and for students in these areas

Table of Contents

    • Foreword
    • Preface
    • Chapter 1: Introduction
      • Abstract
    • Chapter 2: Properties of Pure Water
      • Abstract
      • 2.1 Introduction
      • 2.2 Structure of H2O
      • 2.3 Phase Diagram
      • 2.4 Thermodynamic Properties
      • 2.5 Transport Properties
      • 2.6 Electrical Properties
      • 2.7 Miscellaneous Properties of Water
    • Chapter 3: Properties of Mixtures with Water
      • Abstract
      • 3.1 Introduction
      • 3.2 Properties of Mixtures
      • 3.3 Phase Behavior of Mixtures with Water
      • 3.4 Water and Nonelectrolytes
      • 3.5 Water and Electrolytes
      • 3.6 Water and Metal Oxides
      • 3.7 Water and Nonvolatile Electrolytes (Salts)
    • Chapter 4: Heat Transfer
      • Abstract
      • 4.1 Introduction
      • 4.2 Heat Transfer to Pure Water
      • 4.3 Heat Transfer in the Critical and Supercritical Region (Region IV)
      • 4.4 Condensation
      • 4.5 Heat Transfer for Flow Through Beds of Particles
      • 4.6 Heat Transfer Coefficients in Heat Exchangers
    • Chapter 5: Reactions in Hydrothermal and Supercritical Water
      • Abstract
      • 5.1 Introduction
      • 5.2 Chemical Equilibrium and Chemical Kinetics
      • 5.3 Specific Reactions in Supercritical Water as a Reaction Medium
    • Chapter 6: Extraction Processes
      • Abstract
      • 6.1 Introduction
      • 6.2 Fundamentals of the Extraction Process
      • 6.3 Soil Cleaning
      • 6.4 Various Extractions from Mineral Substrates
      • 6.5 Separation of Organic Compounds from Bone Material
      • 6.6 Extraction of Natural Substances
    • Chapter 7: Processing of Fuel Materials with Hydrothermal and Supercritical Water
      • Abstract
      • 7.1 Introduction
      • 7.2 Processing of Coal with Water
      • 7.3 Oil Shale Conversion with Hydrothermal and Supercritical Water
      • 7.4 Oil Sands Processing with Hydrothermal and Supercritical Water
    • Chapter 8: Processing of Biomass with Hydrothermal and Supercritical Water
      • Abstract
      • 8.1 Introduction
      • 8.2 Processing of Plant-Based Monomers with High-Temperature and Supercritical Water
      • 8.3 Processing of Natural Polymers with High-Temperature and Supercritical Water
      • 8.4 Processing of Mixtures of Natural Compounds of Biomass in High-Temperature and Supercritical Water
      • 8.5 Biomass Liquefaction
      • 8.6 Biomass Gasification
    • Chapter 9: Reactions of Synthetic Polymers with Water
      • Abstract
      • 9.1 Condensation Polymers
      • 9.2 Polyethylene
      • 9.3 Addition Polymerization Polymers
      • 9.4 Various Polymers
    • Chapter 10: Oxidation in High-Temperature and Supercritical Water
      • Abstract
      • 10.1 General Aspects of Oxidation in Water
      • 10.2 Wet Air Oxidation
      • 10.3 Supercritical Water Oxidation
      • 10.4 Hydrothermal Flames
    • Chapter 11: Hydrothermal and Supercritical Water Processing of Inorganic Substances
      • Abstract
      • 11.1 Introduction: What is Hydrothermal Processing?
      • 11.2 Principle of Hydrothermal Processing
      • 11.3 Crystal Growth
      • 11.4 Synthesis of New Phases and Compounds
      • 11.5 Hydrothermal Preparation of Materials, Production of Fine Particles, Impregnation, Coatings
    • Chapter 12: Corrosion in Hydrothermal and Supercritical Water
      • Abstract
      • 12.1 Introduction
      • 12.2 Types of Corrosion in Hydrothermal and Supercritical Water
      • 12.3 Solution Parameters Influencing Corrosion
      • 12.4 Measures Against Corrosion
      • 12.5 Summary
    • Chapter 13: Process Components and Processes
      • Abstract
      • 13.1 Introduction
      • 13.2 Reactors
      • 13.3 Experimental Processes
      • 13.4 Production Processes
    • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 604
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2014
  • Published: April 4, 2014
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780444594136
  • eBook ISBN: 9780444594181

About the Author

Gerd Brunner

Gerd Brunner


(Prof. em. of Chemical Engineering)

Institute for Thermal Separation Processes

Hamburg University of Technology

(Institut für Thermische Verfahrenstechnik Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg), Eissendorfer Strasse 38, D-21073 Hamburg, Germany.

Phone: 0049-40-42878-2007

FAX: 0049-40-42878-4072

e-mail: brunner@tuhh.de

Academic qualifications:

  • 1968 degree in Chemical Engineering by Technische Universität München, Germany.
  • 1972 doctoral degree (Dr.-Ing.) from Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany.
  • 1978 Habilitation (Dr.-Ing. habil.) in Technical Chemistry from Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany.
  • 1980 Assistant Professor at Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • 1982 Full Professor of Chemical Engineering at Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg.
  • 2008 retired from active service.

    Industrial experience:

  • 1982 - 1990 Senior researcher Siemens-KWU (non-nuclear energy activities), from 1983 as consultant.
  • 1989 - now: Consultant to F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG (supercritical fluids application)
  • 1982 - now: Consultant to many industrial companies in the field of Supercritical Fluids.

Honorary positions:

  • Chair Member of the Academy of Sciences in Hamburg
  • Honorary Professor of Chemical Engineering, (Dr. h.c.), Technical University Sofia, 2008

Professional Position

1982 - March 2008 Full Professor, Head of Subdepartment Thermische Verfahrenstechnik

Various position in administration of research and teaching at the Hamburg University of Technology

Actual position:

Prof. em. of Chemical Engineering

Regional Editor of The Journal of Supercritical Fluids

Scientific interests

  • Phase equilibria at elevated pressures and temperatures in complex systems
  • Transfer processes at elevated pressures and temperatures in complex systems
  • Separation processes with supercritical gases, i.e. extraction from solids, countercurrent separations, separation with chromatographic methods (SFC)
  • Simulated-moving-bed-separations
  • Hydrodynamic behaviour of countercurrent columns
  • Pyrolysis of organic compounds
  • Hydrolysis of bio-polymers
  • Supercritical water: destruction of waste, cleaning of soil
  • Enzymes at high pressures, in particular for separation processes
  • Electro-Ultra-filtration for biotechnological systems
  • Membrane separations of gases at high pressures
  • Biodiesel, bio-refinery


About 290 publications, including about 15 patents.

Affiliations and Expertise

Hamburg University of Technology, Germany

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