Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering


Kauser Jahan, Ph.D.

Committee Member 1

Jagadish Torlapati, Ph.D.,

Committee Member 2

Kirti Yenkie, Ph.D.

Committee Member 3

Charles Schutte, Ph.D.

Committee Member 4

Sarah K. Bauer, Ph.D.


Anaerobic Digestion, Beverage Waste, Hydrothermal Liquefaction, Lifecycle Assessment, Renewable Energy, Sewage Sludge


Biomass energy; Waste products as fuel


Chemical Engineering | Civil and Environmental Engineering | Engineering


Beverage waste and sewage sludge are two of the most generated waste-based biomasses. Recent interest in the hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of these wastes pointed to the generation of a byproduct of high dissolved organic carbon [also called aqueous co-product (ACP)]. However, ACP is being discarded which not only increases the environmental footprints of the HTL process but also results in reduced bioenergy potential. Hence, anaerobic digestion (AD) is touted as an effective utilization process of ACP for further bioenergy recovery. This study evaluated the feasibility of producing bioenergy (biocrude and biomethane) from the combination of beverage waste and sewage sludge in varying ratios through a hydrothermal liquefaction and anaerobic digestion (HTL-AD) chain process. Firstly, the study assessed the co-HTL of beverage waste with sewage sludge to determine the ratio with the optimum biocrude production. The study further assessed the toxicity reduction of the resulting ACP through an adsorption mechanism followed by the AD of the treated ACP. Finally, the life cycle assessment of the chain process was determined. The study proved that an integrated HTL-AD system for bioenergy production results in an increase in the energy footprint of the combined process rather than the individual constituent systems. The study presents novel information that can be used for investment decisions and policy formulation around the world.

Available for download on Thursday, June 12, 2025