Food Research Department. School of Chemistry – Autonomous University of Coahuila

BioEnergy Research Journal.


Integrated Biorefinery Pilot Plant Facility

Integrated Biorefinery Pilot Plant Facility

The Biorefinery Pilot Plant was inaugurated in June 2017 and is a bridge between academic (researches) bench-top with demo-scale research and industry partners to develop process, scale-up strategies,  evaluate, and demonstrate processes and technologies for biomass processing fractionation and the custom manufacturing of biobased products and processes related to the circular bioeconomy. Biorefinery facility make working with academy, industries and governments a priority, which means posgraduate and undergraduate students receive a highly relevant learning experience in this pilot plant.

Hydrothermal processing [also called autohydrolysis, hydrothermal treatment, hot compressed water, hydrothermolysis, liquid hot water (LHW)] is a potential clean technology to convert raw materials such as lignocellulosic materials and aquatic biomass into bioenergy and high added-value chemicals. In this technology, water at high temperatures and pressures is applied for hydrolysis, extraction and structural modification of biomasses. Hydrothermal processing can cause several effects including hemicellulose depolymerization (oligomers -XOS, monomers), alteration/degradation of lignin (phenolic compounds) and increased availability of cellulose

Therefore, these are the objectives of the Integrated Biorefinery Pilot Plant Facility at the Autonomous University of Coahuila. The figure on the right shows a Biorefinery scheme for lignocellulosic biomass using hydrothermal pretreatment in the production of high added products and biofuels. For more information please visit the following links:;

The biorefinery plant has a tubular hydrothermal batch reactor technology – Steam Explosion for biomass processing and fractionation, this reactor was Design by Biorefinery group.

The tubular-SE pilot reactor includes: biomass loading, pre-heating jacket, tubular SE batch reactor,  explosion tank, pretreated slurry [cellulignin and hemicellulose], computer control – PLC and data acquisition, steam input, purge valve, exhaust pipe, electric steam boiler, pressure transducer, RTD (resistance temperature detectors).

To see videos the Steam Explosion Reactor operation, please visit the following links:

Steam explosion reactor for biomass fractionation and processing. PART I:

Steam explosion reactor for biomass fractionation and processing. PART II:

Steam explosion reactor for biomass fractionation and processing. PART III: