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Conversions in Biobased Sciences

About this course

To keep our planet inhabitable for future generations we should use its resources in a sustainable manner. We also want to keep (or increase) our standard of living. Therefore we need to convert feedstocks, preferably renewable such as biomass, as efficient as possible to desired products. Conversion of bio-based feedstock may involve homogenous catalysis, but very likely involves heterogeneous catalysis. This is e.g. the case if the reactants or substrates are dissolved in aqueous medium, while the catalyst is a solid or is immobilized on carriers.
In this course you learn how to tune chemical, biochemical and microbial catalysts in order to prepare desired products based on biomass. With that knowledge you will learn how to evaluate the different routes and you will be able to design an efficient conversion route. The latter implies that you will evaluate the efficiency of the designed conversion routes in terms of product yields, volumetric productivity and energy-input.

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

  • explain how to tune chemical, biochemical and microbial catalysts to convert biomass in homogeneous and heterogeneous reactions;
  • assess which (combination of) conversion route(s) is most efficient for a desired product;
  • design an efficient (energy, cost) process to convert a give biomass based feedstock to a desired product;
  • evaluate a designed conversion process in terms of product yields, volumetric productivity and energy-input.

Teaching method and examination

Final grading is based on a written exam with open questions (50%) and a group paper + oral defense (groups of 4-6; 50%). For both components a minimum pass mark of 5.50 is required. Re-submission of an improved version of an group paper graded as insufficient is not possible. In that case a new report has to be made next year. The grades for the exam and the group paper do not expire. Papers might be screened for signs of using AI-tools. If unauthorized use of AI-tools is suspected an additional oral exam might be held (pass/fail).

Required prior knowledge

Assumed Knowledge:
BCT24306 Renewable Resources and the (Bio)Chemical Production of Industrial Chemicals; BCT23306 Biorefinery

Link to more information

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