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Online Course

Biobased Products for a Sustainable (Bio)economy

RWTH Aachen University and Delft University of Technology via edX

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Overview

Have you everasked what “biobased” means or wondered about the key aspects in developing and commercializing biobased products? This course will answer those questions and more; highlighting the opportunities, hurdles, and driving forces of the bioeconomy.

Today’s industries face enormousglobal challenges when it comes to the fossil-based economy. Fossil resources are no longer a desirable feedstock for many products and governments’ climate goals put various limitations to its usage. Moreover, consumer perception has become an increasingly important factor.With biobased products as an alternative to the fossil-based economy, the bioeconomycan provide viable solutions to these challenges.

The course describes the different types of biomass, the methods of refinery and typical conversion technologies used for biobased products. You'll also engage in astudy of the practical and real-life examples emerging in the market: biopolymers, bioenergy, bioflavours, and biosurfactants.

The course has been developed by a team of experts from seven different institutions and universities in three different countries,all sharing their personal perspectives on the opportunities and challenges faced by the biobased industry. The three top-ranked institutions Delft University of Technology, RWTH Aachen University, and Wageningen University & Research offer additional, more advanced courses to continue your learning journey:

  • Industrial Biotechnology: a more advanced course that digs deeper into engineering aspects of bio-based products.
  • MicroMasters Chemistry and Technology for Sustainability: Help drive the transition from fossil sources to renewable energy ones and engineer a biobased future.
  • Sustainable Development: The Water-Energy-Food Nexus: Introduction to sustainable development and its relation to the Water-Energy-Food Nexus.

Syllabus

Week 1: Understand the need for sustainable innovation and how biorefinery, bioconversion, and biobased production can contribute to this.

Week 2: Introduction to the worlds of chemo- and biocatalysis, protein engineering and fermentation.

Weeks 3-6: Biobased products – learn about the production and commercialization of bioenergy, biopolymers, biosurfactants, and bioflavours in each of the four weeks featuring real-life examples.

Week 7: Hear personal perspectives on the development of the biobased economy from the teachers of this course.

Taught by

Juergen Rabenhorst, Manfred Kircher, Lars M. Blank, Frank Hollmann, Patricia Osseweijer, Ulrich Schwaneberg, Aljoscha Wahl, Harry Bitter, Wim Soetaert and Sophie Roelants

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