Biobased Principles and Opportunities
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date_range Starts on January 24, 2017
event_note Ends on January 23, 2018
list 8 sequences
assignment Level : Introductive
chat_bubble_outline Language : English
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About the content

Explore how to create a sustainable future by moving away from dependence on fossil resources to biomass resources for the production of food, chemicals and energy-carriers.

We’ll focus on five topics in this course:

1. Introduction to Biobased Sciences
Learn about the products that can be derived from biomass and the processes used to do so, compared to current fossil based products and processes.

2. Production of Biomass
Discover what is being done to improve plants and how the crops and forests can be engineered using breeding methods to serve the food, energy and chemical demands of the future. We’ll also look at the potential of aquatic biomass by addressing cultivation of algae and seaweed.

3. Biorefinery
Explore techniques for extraction of valuable components from biomass, and meeting the challenge of extracting the biomass components in such a manner that they maintain their functionality.

4. Achieving Sustainability
Delve into the true meaning of sustainability and how sustainability issues are linked to human activities. Biobased products are not always as sustainable as it seems on first glance. You’ll learn that an understanding of the degree of sustainability requires a thorough analysis of a variety of factors and constituents.

5. Consumer Behaviour
Understand the challenges of moving to a bio-based economy and gaining consumer acceptance. Do consumers believe the benefits of biobased products outweigh the costs? Do businesses see the costs and benefits in the same way? You’ll learn to align these views for successful adoption of biobased production.

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Students will be able to:  

  • Understand the concept and importance of the biobased economy and the value of biobased products.
  • Understand the role of plant breeding in biobased production chains.
  • Understand biorefinery processes and their suitability for extraction of specific biomass components.
  • Assess sustainability issues for a given biobased case.
  • Assess market opportunities from a business and consumer point of view.


  • Harry Bitter
  • Maria Barbosa
  • Ellen Slegers
  • Rik Leemans
  • Arnout Fischer
  • Corjan van den Berg
  • Elinor Scott
  • Paul Struik

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Wageningen University
Wageningen University



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