Description: Mineral oil currently constitutes the major resource for fuel production, but also as a raw material for chemical, pharmaceutical and other industries. In the coming 20-50 years the industrialized society will have to find alternative resources paralleling the depletion of mineral oil.

Future energy supply probably will be based on multiple renewable sources of which biomass will constitute a significant part, while the replacement of oil as industrial raw material will depend mostly on biomass. The biomass conversion is assumed to take place in biorefineries, which mimics traditional fossil carbon-based refineries in which the raw material has been exchanged with biomass, and where the majority of the processes exploited are biological and/or biochemical. A biorefinery, therefore, can be considered a factory including pre-treatments, separations and biological or biochemical transformation in multiple steps for the production of chemicals and fuels from biomass.
The aim of the course is to give a detailed overview of different biorefinery concepts, and to present how different types of biomass can be utilized as raw materials. The course will deal with the following topics: Bioresource availability; energy crops; marine biomass; biorefinery concepts; pretreatment technologies; enzymatic conversion; discovery of new enzymes, fermentation, processes; development of biocatalysts using genetic engineering; membrane based separation processes; and post-treatment methods.
In line with the nationally and internationally acknowledged “Aalborg University model”, which is an interdisciplinary, problem-oriented approach to research and education, the course will consist of a combination of lectures and group work in groups consisting of 3-5 students. It is required that you prepare yourself for the group work before the start of the course by carrying out a literature study on a topic that you have chosen among the different course topics – Biomass characterization, pretreatment, enzymatic conversion, ethanol fermentation, anaerobic digestion, chemicals and feed from biomass. You will then design a biorefinery system for a certain biomass building upon the different expertise of the group members. When working in the groups it is important that you separate the work within the group and work individually. The teachers of the course act as consultants for the groups, so that each group can use the expertise of the teachers when needed. In parallel in the lectures there will be given an overview of the necessary individual steps of biomass conversion and their combination in biorefinery systems. The group work will end with a presentation of each group work on Friday, June 19 and will be evaluated based on a written report to be delivered one week after the course period.

Organizer: Associate Professor Hinrich Uellendahl, E-mail:

Lecturers: Peter Westermann, Hinrich Uellendahl, Mette Lübeck, Peter Lübeck, Birgitte K. Ahring and Morten Lykkegård Christensen, National experts from industry and academia


Time: New dates! 8-12 June, 2015

Place: Aalborg University, Copenhagen. Section for Sustainable Biotechnology, A.C. Meyers Vænge 15,

Zip code: 2450

City: Copenhagen

Number of seats: 15

Deadline: 4 June, 2015