B1826 - Energy and Chemicals Production from Biomass Valorization

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Plant and Agricultural Biotechnology (cod. 5948)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student knows the principles and problems related to the transformation of vegetable biomasses into energy, chemical products and fuels, the different applicable processes and possesses the fundamental basic knowledge to evaluate the efficiency of the different approaches

Course contents

At the end of the course, the student is aware of the practice of using processes in the transformation of vegetable biomass. Focusing on the efficiency of the different approaches, the student will know how to deal with the different aspects of converting biomass into energy, chemicals and fuels.

Prerequisites Basic knowledge of chemistry.


Biomass composition, composition of fuels and chemicals, biomass pre-treatment. Lignocellulose Conversion: An Introduction to Chemistry, Processes, and Process Economics.

Basic catalytic reactions applicable to biomass valorisation (deoxygenation, H transfer, C-C coupling, selective oxidation). The biorefinery concept - Strategies for converting biomass to bioproducts: Identification of core platform molecules Examples of converting platform molecules to bioproducts. One-pot reaction with cascade catalysis. Example of development and industrial applications.


Teaching material (power point presentations, book chapters and, scientific articles) will be available on line.

Reference Books

F. Cavani, S. Albonetti, F. Basile, A. Gandini eds "Chemicals and Fuels from Bio-Based Building Blocks" 2016, Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

G. Centi, R. A. van Santen "Catalysis for Renewables: From Feedstock to Energy Production" 2007 Wiley‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

F. Cavani, G. Centi, S. Perathone, F. Trifiró "Sustainable Industrial Chemistry" 2009 Wiley‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

Teaching methods

A wide variety of teaching techniques will be used, from traditional lectures, to group work on course related topics, to the use of seminars and tutorials and e-learning parts. Attendance is strongly recommended in order to be able to grasp the fundamental critical aspects of the subject and the connections between the different parts of the programme.

Assessment methods

The verification of learning takes place through an oral exam aimed at ascertaining the acquisition of knowledge. The property of language and the ability to make connections are plus points.

Teaching tools

The course takes place through lessons and exercises carried out in the classroom with the recording of part of the lessons via panopto. Innovative hybrid teaching methods will also be activated, especially in the parts of the course in collaboration with companies. The activities carried out in the course also make use of supports such as power point presentations, films and multimedia whiteboards; all the teaching material presented is accessible to students on the teaching application https://virtuale.unibo.it/ .

Office hours

See the website of Stefania Albonetti


Affordable and clean energy Climate Action

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