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From Fossil Resources to Biomass: A Business and Economics Perspective

Wageningen University via edX

Overview

Explore how to create a sustainable future by moving away from dependence on fossil to biomass resources for the production of food, chemicals, and energy-carriers. The key is using microorganisms and catalysts to create biobased products. In this course, you will focus on the end of the supply chain - - how to market and sell those products within a profitable business model.

Join the MOOC From Fossil Resources to Biomass: A Business and Economics Perspective if you want to advance your career and get the latest academic knowledge on creating a more sustainable biobased future.

After this course, you will have an improved understanding of other relevant disciplines, and be able to better communicate outside of your own field of expertise in chemistry or technology. You will get a solid foundation of relevant concepts in the biobased economy and biobased products such as:

  • An introduction to biobased sciences
  • Achieving sustainability
  • Consumer behaviour
  • Business
  • Logistics and supply chains
  • Economics and regulations

This course is part of the MicroMasters Program Chemistry and Technology for Sustainability: a series of 3 courses and a final capstone project designed to help you join opportunities and embrace the transition from a fossil-based economy to a biobased economy. It's especially valuable to have (or ambition to have) a career in industries such as: (bio)chemical industry, agrifood water companies, energy producers, logistics, and related (non-)governmental organizations.

Explore the other courses in the MicroMasters Program:

  • Biorefinery: From Biomass to Building Blocks of Biobased Products; Design new (bio)catalytic conversion routes to use biobased feedstocks to their highest potential
  • Catalytic Conversions for Biobased Chemicals and Products; Design new (bio)catalytic conversion routes to use biobased feedstocks to their highest potential
  • Capstone Chemistry and Technology - Final project and exam (only available to learners who have obtained a verified certificate in all other courses of the MicroMasters Program).

Syllabus

1: 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.

2: 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 the consumers’ view when developing a product.

3: Business

Learn the steps to transform a biobased product to a winning business case. We’ll discuss commercial, financial and organizational aspects and stakeholder management to realize biobased ambitions. You’ll also learn about the required dynamics in and timing of (innovation) activities for a sector transformation to a biobased economy.

4: Logistics

Understand the biobased supply chain including network design and geographical allocation of processing steps answering the key questions where to produce, how to transport and where to process biobased products.

5: Macro-economics and Regulation

Learn the economic basis for government regulations and implications for the biobased economy and in particular the responses by the private sector. This includes the economic foundations for government regulations from different perspectives and the implications for an economic assessment of regulatory policies.

Taught by

Arnout Fischer, Corjan van den Berg, Emiel Wubben, Justus Wesseler, Jacqueline Bloemhof, Argyris Kanellopoulos and Dmytro Krushynskyi

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