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Biobased Principles and Opportunities

Wageningen University via edX

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Overview

Explore 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.

We’ll focus on five topics in this course:

1. Introduction to Biobased Sciences

Learn about the products that can be derived from biomass and the processes used to do so, compared to current fossil based products and processes.

2. Biorefinery

Biorefinery deals with the challenge of extracting valuable biomass components and converting them to final products. To achieve this you first need knowledge of the different types of biomass, the molecules present and their chemical characteristics. Biorefinery is all about efficient processing. Aspects of processing include the harvesting, pre-treatments, conversion and separation technologies.

3. Consumer Behaviour

Understand the challenges of moving towards a biobased economy and gaining consumer acceptance. How do consumers evaluate products? And how is their perception influenced by communication strategies?  Understanding the basics of consumer science will help you to implement a consumer view when developing a product. 

4. Biomass production

A biobased economy runs on biomass. It is therefore important to understand which factors play a major role in crop growth, yield formation and quality. In this module you’ll learn to identify design criteria for the production of biobased crops on both a crop and farm level.

5. Achieving Sustainability

Delve into the true meaning of sustainability and how sustainability issues are linked to human activities. Biobased products are not always as sustainable as it seems on first glance. You’ll learn that an understanding of the degree of sustainability requires a thorough analysis of a variety of factors and constituents.

Taught by

Harry Bitter, Maria Barbosa, Luisa Trindade, Ellen Siegers, Rik Leemans, Arnout Fischer and Hans van Trijp

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