About this course
This course is about exploring 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. It is about discovering how to use microorganisms and catalysts to create biobased products, and then learning how to market and sell those products within a profitable business model. In addition, it is about understanding what it takes to create and implement a biobased product. After this course, all students will be able to understand and communicate with other disciplines, outside their own BSc-expertise.
The course provides students with a solid foundation of relevant concepts in the biobased economy and biobased products. For this purpose, the course deals with (1) an introduction to biobased sciences, (2) production of biomass, (3) biorefining, (4) achieving sustainability, (5) consumer behaviour, (6) bioconversion, (7) (bio)chemical conversion, (8) business, (9) logistics and supply chains, and (10) economy and regulations.
After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand the concept and importance of the biobased economy and the value of biobased products;
- 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;
- assess sustainability issues for a given biobased case;
- decide how to implement a consumer point of view during the development of a biobased product;
- understand the potential of microorganisms for the production of biobased products;
- explain how catalysis can contribute to a biobased economy;
- understand commercial, financial and organizational aspects of running a biobased business;
- understand the complexity of logistics of biobased value chains;
- identify and qualitatively assess the major economic implications of different kind of regulations for the future of the bioeconomy.