Courses Catalogue

Thermochemical Conversions For Bioenergy Production

COURSE CODE: REN9205
COURSE CREDIT UNIT: 3
ACADEMIC PROGRAMME: Environmental Science, PhD
COLLEGE/SCHOOL/FACULTY: School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
STATUS: Elective
PROGRAMME TYPE: Postgraduate

Course Description

Thermochemical biomass conversion is based on decomposition at high temperatures (and sometimes high pressures), and subsequent chemical conversion whether or not in the presence of catalytic materials. Traditional processes are combustion, gasification and carbonization. The corresponding products are heat, combustible gases and charcoal respectively. This course is meant to explain the principles of both traditional and new thermo-chemical conversion processes and to discuss the various process routes in relation to the products desired. Biomass resources and properties are considered with special attention for environmental impact and aspects of sustainability. Although biological conversion routes are not a topic in this course, the relation between biological and thermochemical process routes will be clarified. In modern biorefinery concepts, both process types are often combined.

COURSE JUSTIFICATION/RATIONALE

The course focuses on Bio-Energy and in particular on the exploitation of biomass and biomass waste for energy recovery. The course encompasses thermochemical energy processes (combustion, gasification, pyrolysis, reforming), mechanical and chemical processes (oil extraction and trans-esterification), finally biochemical processes (fermentation and anaerobic digestion). Emphasis is given to thermochemical processes.

The course provides chemical engineering tools applied to the analysis of energy conversion processes involving biomass. The course provides also the fundamentals of ASPEN PLUS- a software package designed for process modeling and simulation that is extensively utilized in chemical and energy industrial sectors. The student at the end of the course will be capable to design a bio-energy thermo-chemical conversion process.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

By the end of this course, the student should be able to:

Acquire knowledge in thermochemical conversion process of biomass, including gasification, pyrolysis, combustion and hydrothermal conversion techniques.

Gain advanced knowledge in industrial application potential of products resulting of thermochemical biomass conversion.

Evaluate biomass conversion processes, both qualitative and quantitative, on the grounds of technical feasability, economic potential and impact on environment and society.

Position thermochemical conversion processes in the wider framework of the future, biobased economy.

Recognize the advantages and disadvantages of thermochemical processing compared to biochemical processing,identify important classes of thermochemical processes,perform mass and energy balances on thermochemical processes, and develop designs for thermochemical reactors.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

A doctoral student completing the course is expected to:

Apply thermochemical conversion process of biomass

Develop advanced knowledge in industrial application potential of products resulting of thermochemical biomass conversion.

Contribute to the evaluation of biomass conversion processes, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Position thermochemical conversion processes in the wider framework of the future, biobased economy.

Recognize the advantages and disadvantages of thermochemical processing compared to biochemical processing,perform or conduct cases studies on thermochemical conversion plants.

Describe the nature and principle of different biomass energy extraction systems and know how to choose the suitable biomass fuels for different bio-energy applications;

Distinguish the desirable features of these biomass energy sources and their advantages over traditional fuels such as coal and oil; and

Identify their limited scope in terms of suitable sites, dependence on the elements, capital costs, and cost effectiveness compared with traditional sources.