66129 - Biofuels

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

The course provide the student with the knowledge of the processes of transformation of biomass into energy products. The studer should be able to understand the main characteristics of fossil and renewable fuels and to evaluate the environmental problems related to their use.

Course contents

The course will address the issue of integrated production of biofuels and biomaterials (biorefineries) from renewable sources. In the Biofuels module, the technical and environmental aspects relating to the production of renewable fuels and automotive fuels will be dealt with. Specifically, the following topics will be dealt with:

  • Chemical energy: role in energy transitions and in the fight against climate change.
  • History of combustion: chemical energy and fuels yesterday and today. Thermal machines and conversion systems.
  • Chemical fundamentals of combustion: characteristic reactions and relationship between the chemical structure of the fuel and the combustion properties and polluting emissions.
  • First, second and third generation of bio-fuels.
  • Advanced biofuels and biofuels: Biodiesel, Bioethanol, Biogas and biomethane.
  • Thermochemical processes: gasification, pyrolysis and innovative conversion processes.
  • Electro-fuels: power-to-fuel strategies for obtaining fuels from renewable electrical sources.


Sustainable Biofuels 1st Edition, Ramesh Ray

Teaching methods

The course includes lectures, in-depth study of scientific articles, 3 chemical laboratory experiences, guided visits to birefineries and biofuel production plants.

Assessment methods

The exam will be oral and will aim to verify the achievement of the main educational objectives. The student will have to master the qualitative and quantitative aspects of obtaining a biofuel, the environmental problems and the benefits deriving from that process / biofuel.

Teaching tools

The lessons will be held with the aid of computer supports for the projection of texts and images. The course slides are usually left available to students at the end of each lesson (using a mailing list created at the beginning of the lessons)

Office hours

See the website of Cristian Torri


Affordable and clean energy Responsible consumption and production Climate Action

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.