TKP4180 - Biofuels and Biorefineries


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: School exam
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
School exam 100/100 4 hours A

Course content

The need to reduce our dependency on non-renewable resources and switch to the utilization of renewable resources is increasing. Utilizing renewable energy and fuels dominate the public discourse, but renewable resources are and should be utilized as raw materials for chemicals and materials as well, both from a resource point of view and from a process economy point of view.

Plant biomass seems to be the renewable raw material which is available in the largest amounts on a global basis, but also organic waste material and animal-based biomass are used as raw materials in biomass-based processes. The composition and structure of biomass often precludes the use of some process engineering practices used in e.g. the petroleum industry. The course is intended to give an introduction to the challenges and opportunities of using renewable biomass as a raw material for industrial processes or as an energy source.

Course content

  • Engineering considerations for biomass-based process systems
  • Biofuels and biofuels production: Properties and process engineering
  • Biomass-based chemicals: Introduction, some typical manufacturing processes
  • Biomass-based materials: Properties and manufacturing processes

Topics taught

  • Properties of water; water management
  • VLEs of biomass-derived substances, azeotropes, phase separation, partial solubility
  • Rheological properties of biomass-based systems; mass and heat transfer
  • Biomass raw materials: Structure and chemistry
  • Biomass resources and their chemical composition
  • Common chemical reactions for biomass components
  • Mass and enthalpy balances for biomass-based processes
  • Typical unit operations employed in biomass-based processes
  • Solid, liquid and gaseous biofuels: Properties
  • Common processes for biofuel production
  • Some biomass-based chemicals and their manufacture
  • Biomass-based materials: Properties and production

Learning outcome


  • Biomass raw materials: Composition and common chemical reactions
  • Properties of biomass-based reaction systems
  • Properties of biofuels, bio-based chemicals and bio-based materials
  • Manufacturing processes for biofuels, bio-based chemicals and bio-based materials


  • Perform simple engineering calculations for biomass-based reaction systems
  • Perform simple trouble-shooting for biomass-based processes
  • Suggest suitable process configurations for biomass-based production processes or sub-processes

Learning methods and activities

  • Classroom sessions/lectures (2+2 hours/week)
  • One laboratory exercise (one full day plus two half days during mid/late February and/or early March). The laboratory exercise and laboratory report must be approved for access to the exam
  • Approximately 10 compulsory calculation exercises. 80% of the exercises must be approved for access to the exam
  • Self-study

Compulsory assignments

  • Calculation exercises
  • Laboratory exercis

Further on evaluation

If there is a re-sit examination, the examination form may change from written to oral.

Required previous knowledge

Chemistry, physics and chemical engineering at Bachelor's degree level

Course materials

  • Drapcho, C.M., Nhuan, N.P., Walker, T.H. (2020): "Biofuels Engineering Process Technology, 2nd Ed.", McGraw-Hill, ISBN 978-1259585722.
  • Other book chapters and journal articles (information will be given at the start of the semester)

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
TKP4125 7.5 AUTUMN 2008
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2024

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Technological subjects
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Chemical Engineering


Examination arrangement: School exam

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Spring ORD School exam 100/100 A 2024-05-21 15:00 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
SL111+SL210 Sluppenvegen 14 13
Summer UTS School exam 100/100 A INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

More on examinations at NTNU