From Fossil Resources to Biomass: A Chemistry Perspective
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assignment Level : Advanced
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Key Information

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verified_user Fee-based Certificate
timer 100 hours in total

About the content

The upcoming years are all about creating a sustainable future where it is necessary to move away from fossil resources and explore and implement the opportunities that biomass as a renewable energy source gives us.

Join this course if you want to learn 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. You will learn what biomass is, how to produce biomass renewable energy- and biomass fuel and how to make biobased products.

You will get a solid understanding of how chemistry works in a biobased economy and in the production of biomass renewable products. Your valuable knowledge will help your company drive into sustainability and actually make the transition to use biomass resources to produce biobased products.

You will learn about the products that can be derived from biomass and the processes used to do so.

We will explore catalytic conversion of biomass by discussing types of catalysts, special challenges for catalysis when converting biomass into biomass energy and the interplay of catalysis and up/down stream processes. Then we dive into biorefinery. Biorefinery deals with the challenge of extracting valuable biomass components and converting them to final products. To achieve this you first need knowledge of the different types of biomass, the molecules present and their chemical characteristics. Biorefinery is all about efficient processing. Aspects of processing include the harvesting, pre-treatments, conversion and separation technologies.

Stating the obvious; a biobased economy runs on biomass. To apply the gained knowledge to the production of crops, it is therefore important to understand which factors play a major role in crop growth, yield formation and quality. In this module you’ll learn to identify design criteria for the production of biobased crops on both crop- and farm level.

Join the MicroMasters programme

This MOOC is part of two MicroMasters Programs:
Economics and Policies for a Circular Bio-Economy and
Business and Operations for a Circular Bio-Economy.

The Business and Operations for a Circular Bio-Economy MicroMasters Program will provide you with the knowledge and tools to analyse the business and operations side of the switch to biobased products.

The MicroMasters Program Economics and Policies for a Circular Bio-Economy covers the economic and policy side of converting biological resources into biobased products. You will able to contribute substantially to managerial decision-making as well as policy development. Both programmes consist of 3 courses and a final project; the capstone.

Explore the other courses in the MicroMasters programmes:

  • Understand the basic chemical and technological concepts underlying the biobased value chain
  • Understand the factors and methods that can influence production of biobased crops
  • Understand how the composition and chemical nature of biomass fractions determines the processing steps within a biorefinery
  • Understand the potential of microorganisms for the production of biobased products.
  • Explain how catalysis can contribute to a biobased economy

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Prerequisite

To optimally learn in/from and complete the complete MicroMasters Program we expect you to have a bachelor degree in social sciences (preferably business-, or economics). However, there is no formal entry level requirement for this MOOC.

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Syllabus

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: Biomass Production

A biobased economy runs on biomass. It is therefore important to understand which factors play a major role in crop growth, yield formation and quality. In this module you’ll learn to identify design criteria for the production of biobased crops on both a crop and farm level.

3: Biorefinery

Biorefinery deals with the challenge of extracting valuable biomass components and converting them to final products. To achieve this you first need knowledge of the different types of biomass, the molecules present and their chemical characteristics. Biorefinery is all about efficient processing.

Aspects of processing include the harvesting, pre-treatments, conversion and separation technologies.

4: Bioconversion

Learn how to convert molecules through microbial processes. Find out how to choose the right host organism and how choices in process design influence cell growth, substrate conversion and product formation.

5: Chemical Conversion

Explore catalytic conversion of biomass by discussing types of catalysts, special challenges for catalysis when converting biomass and the interplay of catalysis and up/down stream processes.

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Instructors

Harry Bitter
Professor Biobased Chemistry and Technology
Wageningen University & Research

Maria Barbosa
Associate Professor Microalgae Biotechnology
Wageningen University & Research

Corjan van den Berg
Assistant Professor, Bioprocess Engineering
Wageningen University & Research

Paul Struik
Professor of Crop Physiology
Wageningen University & Research

Elinor Scott
Associate Professor Biobased Chemistry and Technology
Wageningen University & Research

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Content Designer

Wageningen University
Wageningen University
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