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Syllabus for

Academic year
SEE015 - Sustainable biomass supply
Hållbart uttag av biomassa
 
Syllabus adopted 2019-02-12 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPBIO
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Bioengineering
Department: 70 - SPACE, EARTH AND ENVIRONMENT


Teaching language: English
Application code: 08136
Open for exchange students: No
Block schedule: C
Maximum participants: 50

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0118 Examination 4,0c Grading: TH   4,0c   14 Jan 2021 pm L   09 Apr 2021 am J,  19 Aug 2021 pm J
0218 Project 3,5c Grading: TH   3,5c    

In programs

MPBIO BIOTECHNOLOGY, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)
MPBIO BIOTECHNOLOGY, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (compulsory elective)
MPISC INNOVATIVE AND SUSTAINABLE CHEMICAL ENGINEERING, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (elective)
MPISC INNOVATIVE AND SUSTAINABLE CHEMICAL ENGINEERING, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)
MPSES SUSTAINABLE ENERGY SYSTEMS, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)
MPSES SUSTAINABLE ENERGY SYSTEMS, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)

Examiner:

Christel Cederberg

  Go to Course Homepage


Eligibility

General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

Basic university level knowledge in environmental sciences or chemical/biological engineering

Aim

This course aims to prepare engineers for future work in industry, the public sector and/or research, in a context where the use of fossil carbon is gradually phased out and society increasingly relies on biomass as an alternative source of carbon. It does so by giving substantial and functional knowledge in ecology and agriculture, forestry and aquatic production systems for food, fuels, chemicals and materials. The course also gives an orientation in ethical and economical principles that provide the fundaments to sustainable development, as well as relevant methods and tools for analysing biomass production systems, including sustainability standards and certification systems.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

  • describe fundamental ecological principles that are important for ecosystem functions that support biomass production.
  • account for agriculture, forestry & aquatic production systems in a regional perspective and how the systems affect land, water and other resources.
  • explain the potential impacts of biomass production systems on biodiversity and the state of ecosystem services, including biogeochemical cycles (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and water).
  • reflect on valuation of ecosystems from different ethical and economical perspectives.
  • account for relevant methods and tools, and their use for assessing biomass production systems including standards and governance.
  • appraise options for future biomass production systems, including novel methods and technologies (e.g., permaculture, agroforestry, perennial crops, new breeding techniques, biorefineries).

Content

The course is divided into three parts. The first part gives basic knowledge on biomass production systems, ecological principles, and impacts on ecosystems from biomass production. Part two deals with methods for assessing and valuating biomass production from a broad sustainability perspective, including quality standards and certification schemes for bio-based products.
In the third part of the course, the students apply the knowledge they have acquired in a case study that focuses on finding sustainable solutions for biomass production systems under likely future scenarios.

Organisation

A significant part of the course will be spent on describing and discussing future and innovative production systems of biomass and biomaterials, and how new technology and production systems can be evaluated from a broad sustainability perspective. An important learning activity is that the students work in smaller groups with case studies of production systems of different types of biomass (forest, waste products from agriculture and food, algaes etc) and different end uses (fuel, biomaterials, feed, food) and conduct sustainability assessments of the systems supply chains. In these case studies, the students will be put into contact with relevant actors, e.g. in industry.

Literature

Course book (to be decided) and scientific reports and papers

Examination including compulsory elements

The first two blocks are examined through a written exam which is complemented with individual hand-ins and participation at two study visits. The latter are voluntary and give bonus-points in the written exam. The third block is examined through a larger project carried out in groups, which is presented through a group hand-in report that is peer-reviewed and orally presented.
The full course is graded (U, 3, 4, 5) based on the total amount of points from the exam and the project work. Both the exam and the project must be graded minimum 3 for passing the course.


Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.