Biobased Materials Science


About this course

Introduction with incentive/context
Biobased materials play a crucial role in the transition towards phasing out fossil resources. These materials can be made from many different sources/feedstock, possess a wide range of functionalities and can be used in many different applications that currently use fossil feedstock. In order to select the best material for a specific application it is crucial that one understands the underlying science, characteristics and properties of biobased materials. This course addresses the different classes of biobased materials and how their structure and functionality is linked to the raw materials they are made of. A deeper understanding of material functionality will be developed by studying the basic concepts that define the mechanical, rheological and thermal properties of a material. These properties will be translated to manufacturing aspects and use of these materials in different types of (consumer) products. Special attention will be given to the different options to introduce biobased materials in packaging, textiles and furniture. Furthermore insights will be given on how these properties impact the end-of-life (recycling and biodegradation) of these products. Aside from lectures, the learning objectives are supported by a case study and experimental demonstration tutorials so that the course learnings can directly be applied into practice.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Explain which material properties are important in a specific application and how they may relate or contrast
  • Express the concepts and properties that underly processing of a material into a product; basic level for natural materials and in more detail for biobased polymers
  • Interpret graphs and figures about mechanical properties and prepare a short experimental plan on how to measure and analyse these properties
  • Recognize the material choices that have been made; taking into account aspects such as materials’ structure, properties, processing methods and applications
  • Recognize the potential of biobased materials in applications and identify products in which biobased materials are already applied.
  • Understand how material mechanical and processing properties translate to the functional requirements and appearance of a product

Required prior knowledge

Assumed Knowledge:
Basic knowledge on inorganic, organic and physical chemistry (BSc level)

Link to more information

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Wageningen University.


  • Start date

    28 October 2024

    • Ends
      20 December 2024
    • Term *
      Period 2
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      1 Jun, 00:00 - 29 Sept 2024
These offerings are valid for students of Utrecht University