Biofuels & Bioenergy

Biofuels & Bioenergy Courses at RES

First Trimester - Renewable Energy Science

Renewable Energy Science (30 ECTS)

Second Trimester - Biofuels & Bioenergy (30 ECTS)

BIO601: Chemistry & Biochemistry of Biomass
BIO602: BioDiesel
BIO603: BioMethane
BIO604: BioEthanol & BioHydrogen
BIO606: Direct Biomass Combustion & Co-Firing Technologies
BIO605: Bioenergy Systems
BIO607: Gasification & Pyrolysis Technologies
BIO608: Policies & Future R&D of Biofuels & Bioenergy

Third Trimester - Master's Thesis

Master's Thesis (30 ECTS)


Specialization Prerequisites

Courses in biotechnology, biochemistry, microbiology, physical thermodynamics, and advanced mathematics.

 

Individual Modules

Modules are of 1-3 weeks duration and carry 2-6 ECTS credits; 3 hours of lectures in the morning plus a lab/project session for another 3 hours in the afternoon, five days of the week. Students complete individual or group project assignments for each module, take an exam following the completion of each module, and a final exam at the end of the trimester. Before the completion of the second trimester each student has to complete, submit and have approved a detailed thesis proposal. The thesis proposal needs to be written with the guidance of a faculty advisor and approved by the RES Academic Board.


BIO601: Chemistry & Biochemistry of Biomass

Course Description: Course content includes studies of types of biomass (e.g. wood waste, forestry residues, agricultural residues, perennial annual crops, organic municipal solid waste). Long-term sustainability and reliability of feedstock supply; feedstock quality, minimizing feedstock cost and regional/climatic considerations of the process chain. Composition of lignocellulose (lignin, hemicellulose, cellulose); energy crops; chemical pretreatment; enzymatic pretreatment; degradation of lignocellulose by fungi and bacteria; degradation of lignin; the role of peroxidases; degradation of cellulose; trichoderma cellulases; bacterial cellulases; and comparison with degradation of high starch crops.

Course Duration: 2 weeks - ECTS Credits: 4


BIO602: BioDiesel

Course Description: Course content includes sources and processing of biodiesel (fatty acid methyl ester); nature of lipids, especially fatty acids and triglycerides. Sources and characteristics of lipids for use as biodiesel feedstock; and conversion of feedstock into biodisel (transesterification). Use of vegetable oil (SVO) and waste vegetable oil (WVO). Engineering, economics and environmental issues of biodisel; components and operation of a biodiesel processing system; standards for biodiesel quality; safety procedures needed to work with biodiesel in both domestic and shop environments; and major policies and regulations pertaining to the production, distribution, and use of biodiesel.

Course Duration: 1 week - ECTS Credits: 2


BIO603: BioMethane

Course Description: Course content includes studies related to the formation of biomethane or biogas from landfill, energy crops, and manure. Hydrolysis; anaerobic digestion; metanogenesis (acetoclastic, hydrogenotrophic), rates of methane formation; and one and two stage fermentation. Thermal depolymerization. Use of exhaust gases (e.g. CO2, H2S and H2) from geothermal power plants and industrial operations (e.g. coal and oil refineries) as an energy source (methane and hydrogen) and harvesting into biomass by diverse flora of microbes. Integration of biomass technologies (generation of methane and hydrogen) with fuel cells.

Course Duration: 1 week - ECTS Credits: 2


BIO604: BioEthanol & BioHydrogen

Course Description: Course content includes studies related to the production of ethanol by yeast and bacteria. Saccharomyces cerevisae. Substrate range and ethanol tolerance; flocculence in yeasts; thermophilic clostridias; and Zymonomonas mobilis. Yield of ethanol production from sugars; and Gay Lussacc equation. Production of butanol. Production of hydrogen from photosynthesis; production of hydrogen by fermentative bacteria; hydrogen production rates from both systems; and mesophilic vs. thermohilic production. Micro-organisms that produce hydrogen; production of hydrogen from waste water. Genetic engineering to enhance hydrogen production rates. Thermodynamics of hydrogen partial pressure.

Course Duration: 2 weeks - ECTS Credits: 4


BIO605: Bioenergy Systems

Course description: Course content includes overview of bioenergy systems from resource, conversion technologies to final product. Bioenergy conversion technologies and systems for heat, power, and bio-fuels. Cogeneration and polygeneration. Innovative cycles (such as biomass integrated gasification combined cycles, biomass air turbines, humid air turbines etc) for biomass resources. Evaluation of the bioenergy system performance. Economic and environmental assessments of bioenergy systems.

Course Duration: 2 weeks - ECTS Credits: 4


BIO606: Direct Biomass Combustion & Co-Firing Technologies

Course Description: Course content includes analysis of biomass direct combustion, and co-firing in power plants with high biomass-to-fossil fuel ratios. Fixed-bed, fluidized bed, and dust combustion; heat transfer and basic phenomena in burning, current theories and thermodynamics, reaction kinetics. Feedstock and plant design optimization, emissions, ash deposition and corrosion control, slagging and fouling problems. Emission and combustion characteristics of various fuels. Burner and boiler technologies. Design, performance and efficiency of combined heat and power plants (CHP). Boiler and turbine efficiencies. Numerical models and simulation of combustion processes and reactive fluids, and combustion air dynamics.

Course Duration: 3 weeks - ECTS Credits: 6


BIO607: Gasification & Pyrolysis Technologies

Course Description: Course content includes studies of advanced fractionation and conversion systems for the combined production of biofuels/bioenergy (fuels, electricity, heat) and bioproducts (chemicals and/or materials). Gasification processes and the main types of gasifier designs; production of electricity by combining a gasifier with a gas turbine or fuel cell. Combined-cycle electricity generation with gas and steam turbines, and generation of heat and steam for district heating systems or CHP, including Kalina Cycle. Production of synthesis gas (i.e. CO, H2, H2O, CO2, tar vapor and ash particles) for subsequent conversion to hydrogen and transport fuels; advanced gas cleaning technologies for biomass. Biological conversion of syngas into liquid biofuels. Fast pyrolysis technology to produce liquid bio-oil or pyrolysis oil (synthetic oil) from biomass, refined to produce a range of fuels, chemicals, and fertilizers; biorefineries, and new uses for glycerine in biorefineries.

Course Duration: 3 weeks - ECTS Credits: 6


BIO608: Policies and Future R&D of Biofuels & Bioenergy

Course Description: Course content includes analysis of both current and future EU regulations and directives on biofuels and bioenergy. Tax regulations. Evaluation of different production alternatives to produce bioenergy; competitiveness of bioenergy alternatives in agriculture compared to other energy sources. Evaluation of current and future R&D needs; legal framework to support sustainable development and increased use of biofuels; government policies and programs with regard to biofuels and investment opportunities worldwide. Biomass feedstocks - how do we produce them cost-effectively and for which end-use? Biofuels for transportation - what will make them technically and economically competitive? Market penetration of biofuels - how do we remove barriers?

Course Duration: 1 week - ECTS Credits: 2