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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Civil, Chemical & Enviromental Eng Short Name: ENGM215
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: YANG A Dr (C, C & E Eng)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability
Assessment Pattern

Written 2 hour examination (closed book)




Coursework (Individual, problems)




Qualifying Condition(s)


An overall mark of 50% is required to pass the module.


Module Overview
This module addresses biomass based manufacturing of energy and chemical products, by examining the nature of the major conversion processes and the possible integration of them.
Module Aims

To provide the students an in-dept understanding of the processes and technologies for the production of energy, chemical, and material products based on biomass processing.

Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:
·         Identify, analyze, and select the processes and technologies for producing the main types of biofuels, namely bioethanol and biodiesel;
·         Identify, analyze, and select the processes and equipment for pyrolysis, gasification, and the synthesis of liquid fuels;
·         Identify the key opportunities for biomass-based manufacturing of chemicals and materials
·         Explain and analyze the concept of biorefinery and the possible integrations with conventional refineries
Apply the principles and skills for conducting energy, economic, and environmental evaluation of biomass processing technologies.
Module Content
1. Introduction: Roles of biomass in the provision of energy, chemicals, and materials; types of biomasses; main energy products; general aspects of developing/evaluating biomass processing systems.
2. Raw material provision and physical conversion: Virgin biomass production: photosynthesis, energy content, land and water use; Waste collection: municipal, agricultural and forestry, industrial; Physical conversion: drying, size reduction, separation.
3. Bio/chemical conversion:
3.1 Fermentation: biochemistries, processes, equipment of systems producing bioethanol and other products.
3.2 transesterification: chemistry, process, equipment of systems producing biodiesel and other products.

3.3 production of biogas and bio-hydrogen: a brief introduction
4. Thermo conversion
4.1 Combustion – equipment, applications, environmental issues,
4.2 Pyrolysis – feedstock options, slow and fast processes, physical and chemical mechanisms, equipment, product compositions and properties 
4.3 Gasification – feedstock options, physical and chemical mechanisms, equipment 
5. Synthetic fuel production: Fish-Tropsh synthesis and methanol: chemistry, processes, products, equipment
6. Bio-based chemicals and materials and their manufacturing routes: commodity and platform chemicals, high-value molecules, polymers
7. Biorefinery: conceptions, practices, integration with conventional refining facilities
8. Framework for evaluating biomass processing technologies: Principles and methods for evaluating energy efficiency, economics, and environmental impact.
Methods of Teaching/Learning
Lectures, class discussions/working sessions, and independent learning.

Total student learning time 150 hours.

Selected Texts/Journals
Required reading
Recommended background reading
Donald Klass, Biomass for Renewable Energy, Fuels, and Chemicals, Academic Press, 1998
James H. Clark and Fabien Deswarte. Introduction to Chemicals from Biomass. Wiley & Son, 2008
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