Single-Course English 10 ECTS

Production of Biofuels

Overall Course Objectives

The course aims at qualifying the students to apply previously acquired basic knowledge in microbiology, biotechnology and process engineering to biological conversion of different kinds of biomass into biofuels by combining theoretical (lectures) and experimental (laboratory exercises) means. The focus will be on biomass availability, biofuels production processes and their feasibility. Obstacles and possible solutions for the technical implementation of biofuel production from different biomass resources will be analyzed too. The course will also include experimental project work and the students will be familiarized with the biomass-to-biofuel process through own obtained experimental data and calculations.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the characteristics of biomass from different resources
  • Describe the different microbial processes for different biomass resources to produce specific biofuels
  • Describe a few of the existing industrial-scale facilities producing biofuels
  • Explain the bottlenecks and/or inhibition effects for the different biomass-biofuel conversion processes
  • Use the literature databases to find novel technologies within the field of biofuel production
  • Explain the importance of sustainability issues in the production of biofuels from different biomass resources
  • Calculate the theoretical potential for the different biomass resources to produce corresponding biofuels
  • Design innovative production processes for converting a given biomass resource into a specific biofuel

Course Content

The course deals with biological conversion of different biomass resources into biofuels such as methane, hydrogen, ethanol, butanol, biodiesel. Hybrid processes i.e. gasification and subsequent biological gas fermentation are also included in the course in the context of bio-based production of energy. The major elements of the course are: defining the concept of bioenergy production and sustainability, biomass characterization, mapping of biomass potential for biofuel production, microbial processes in relation to biofuels production, bottlenecks and inhibition effects and downstream processing. Examples from both research and industry will be presented in order to put the above concepts into perspective.
The course will provide the student with an overview of the biological processes that are used for conversion of biomass to biofuels. It focuses on fundamental biochemical concepts such as enzyme technology related to biomass composition and the use of enzymes for biomass degradation, thermodynamics and kinetics in relation to microbial growth and product formation and use of microorganisms for production of biofuels.
The course will also include experimental project work and the students will be familiarized with the biomass-to-biofuel process through own obtained experimental data and calculations. This will form the basis of a written report where the production process will be designed and discussed.

Recommended prerequisites

27034/28025/28872, or similar

Teaching Method

Lectures, exercises, laboratory exercises, group work



Dedication and commitment to own learning as well as to group work, is expected from the course participants.
Attendance to guest lectures (3-4) and excursion to a biogas plant are compulsory elements for this course.

Limited number of seats

Maximum: 30.

Please be aware that this course has a limited number of seats available. If there are too many applicants, a pool will be created for the remainder of the qualified applicants, and they will be selected at random. You will be informed 8 days before the start of the course, whether you have been allocated a spot.

See course in the course database.





13 weeks


Chemical Engineering


DTU Lyngby Campus

Course code 28871
Course type Candidate

15.000,00 DKK

Please note that this course has participants limitation. Read more