BCT-23306 Biorefinery


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Excursion (one day)10
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. DPBTB Strik
dr. EL Scott
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. PM Slegers
prof. dr. MHM Eppink
dr. ir. DPBTB Strik
dr. EL Scott
Examiner(s)dr. ir. DPBTB Strik
dr. EL Scott

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

BCT-10305 Process Engineering Basics and/or BCT-22803 Physical Transport Phenomena, or similar from other educational programmes.

Continuation courses:

Advanced biorefinery.


Biomass has enormous potential for the production of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, energy, food and feed. For these applications the relevant components have to be released from the biomass. Biorefinery is the technology for sustainable processing of biomass into a spectrum of marketable products and energy. Biorefinery takes place in a chain and requires several succeeding steps. Every step needs additional resources (chemicals, energy, water) and produces byproducts. The degree of sustainability and the economic benefits of a biorefinery chain depend on the amount of required resources and byproducts and the efficient usage of all materials. This course is an introduction to biorefinery and gives a descriptive overview on state of the art technology and the separation principles used in biorefinery of plants, organisms and waste streams. Moreover, the course discusses methods to evaluate the efficiency and sustainability in terms of energy and water usage and indicators for economic evaluation.
Specific subjects in the course are:
- overview of resources for biorefinery and their characteristic properties relevant for biorefinery;
- properties for physical separation and physical separation methods;
- chemical and biocatalytic separation and conversion; overview of the used chemical reactions and how they are facilitated/catalysed by enzymes or microbes;
- basic chain analysis of succeeding steps in a biorefinery chain by using basic overall mass and energy balances on products and resources as energy and water;
- overall evaluation of the refinery efficiency and indicators for sustainability and economic performance.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- describe the physical separation principles which are applied in state of the art biorefinery;
- describe the chemical and enzymatic methods that are applied in state of the art biorefinery;
- discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the methods;
- analyse which separation techniques can be applied to a given product;
- set-up basic mass and energy balances for each step in the biorefinery chain;
- evaluate the overall refinery efficiency for water and energy usage;
- describe methods used in practice of biorefinery;
- apply basic principles of biorefinery in a practical setup.


The course consists of:
- lectures;
- excursions;
- experimental practical
- supervised tutorials.


- attendance of the experimental practical is compulsory. The report of this practical is used to evaluate the practical knowledge level on the used techniques and the student must pass for this report;
- excursion is compulsory (learning objective 7);
- written examination (closed book).


Course material will be distributed at the start of the course.

Restricted Optional for: BBTBiotechnologyBSc6WD
Compulsory for: WUBBSBSc Minor Bio-Based Technology6WD