Hydrothermal Treatment is an Innovative way of Nutrient Recovery and Waste Minimization


Recovery of the nutrients (primarily, nitrogen and phosphorous) in solid waste is important for better land nutrient management practices and remediation of nutrient pollution of surrounding waterways, and is a path forward to generating renewable nutrients. Hydrothermal treatment (HT) employs the ‘subcritical water as a medium (combination of heat and water at high temperature and high pressure) to convert unutilized solid waste resources (animal wastes, sewage sludge and biomass wastes) into a uniform product. HT promotes solubilization of a certain amount of nutrients from high moisture biomass/solid waste that can be recovered and reused. The treated solid from HT method (as often known as, “hydrochar”) can be used as a solid fuel or a carbon biomaterial. Recovery of renewable nutrients and bioproducts can markedly impact the economy of livestock operations and agriculture.

Completion Objectives:

  • Perform literature review on sources and generation of solid wastes in New Mexico and organic and inorganic constituents of the above feedstock; comment on environmental impacts of solid wastes and compile information on their current uses.
  • Prepare an overview of thermochemical and biochemical/biological conversion of solid wastes and summarize the current methods of nutrient recovery from organic wastes.
  • Compare and contrast Hydrothermal Treatment and Anaerobic Digestion (AD) pathways for recovery of high value nutrients and biomaterials and provide information on their cost-economics.

Faculty Advisor:


Required Competencies

Senior standing in CHME

Student Researcher:


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