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Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati

Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery

Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati and NPTEL via Swayam

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Since last two decades, researchers worldwide have drawn their attention to biomass based fuels as well as other value added products as biomass is not only renewable but also CO2 neutral. This course will provide an insight to the basics of biomass, various conversion technologies and the different types of products that can be obtained upon successful conversion. In first few lectures types biomass, their structure and composition has been discussed followed by details on various pre-treatment technologies currently adapted to produce cellulose. Later on conversion technologies basics along with reactor design for physical, chemical, thermal and microbial conversion techniques has been covered in detail. The next part of the course deals with various products such as biofuels, platform chemicals, polymers etc. Finally, integrated biorefinery concepts, types of biorefinery along with LCA and TEA has been added. The course will enable students to develop necessary skills to design appropriate biomass based fractionation technique as per the need. INTENDED AUDIENCE :Final year BE/B.Tech., ME/M.Tech./MS/MSc and PhD studentsPREREQUISITES : NoneINDUSTRIES SUPPORT :All industries that process biomass to various products such as biofuels, platform chemicals and other value- added products


Week 1:Introduction: World energy scenario, consumption pattern, fossil fuel depletion and environmental issuesWeek 2:Biomass: Availability and abundance, photosynthesis, composition and energy potential, virgin biomass production and selection, waste biomass (municipal, industrial, agricultural and forestry) availability, abundance and potential, biomass as energy resources: dedicated energy crops, annual crops (maize, sorghum sugar beet, hemp), perennial herbaceous crops (sugarcane, switchgrass, miscanthus), short rotation woody crops (poplar, willow), oil crops and their biorefinery potential, microalgae as feedstock for biofuels and biochemical, enhancing biomass properties for biofuels, challenges in conversionWeek 3:Biorefinery: Basic concept, types of biorefineries, biorefinery feedstocks and properties, economicsWeek 4:Biomass Pretreatment: Barriers in lignocellulosic biomass conversion, pretreatment technologies such as acid, alkali, autohydrolysis, hybrid methods, role of pretreatment in the biorefinery concept
Week 5:Physical and Thermal Conversion Processes: Types, fundamentals, equipments and applications; thermal conversion products, commercial success storiesWeek 6:Microbial Conversion Process: Types, fundamentals, equipments and applications, products, commercial success storiesWeek 7:Biodiesel: Diesel from vegetable oils, microalgae and syngas; transesterification; FT process, catalysts; biodiesel purification, fuel propertiesWeek 8:Biooil and Biochar: Factors affecting biooil, biochar production, fuel properties, biooil upgradation
Week 9:Bioethanol and Biobutanol: Corn ethanol, lignocellulosic ethanol, microorganisms for fermentation, current industrial ethanol production technology, cellulases and their role in hydrolysis, concepts of SSF and CBP, advanced fermentation technologies, ABE fermentation pathway and kinetics, product recovery technologiesWeek 10:Hydrogen, Methane and Methanol: Biohydrogen generation, metabolic basics, feedstocks, dark fermentation by strict anaerobes, facultative anaerobes, thermophilic microorganisms, integration of biohydrogen with fuel cell; fundamentals of biogas technology, fermenter designs, biogas purification, methanol production and utilizationWeek 11:Organic Commodity Chemicals from Biomass: Biomass as feedstock for synthetic organic chemicals, lactic acid, polylactic acid, succinic acid, propionic acid, acetic acid, butyric acid, 1,3-propanediol, 2,3-butanedioil, PHAWeek 12:Integrated Biorefinery: Concept, corn/soybean/sugarcane biorefinery, lignocellulosic biorefinery, aquaculture and algal biorefinery, waste biorefinery, hybrid chemical and biological conversion processes, techno- economic evaluation, life-cycle assessment

Taught by

Prof. Kaustubha Mohanty


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