66974 - Renewable Energies and Biofuels

Course Unit Page


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

Affordable and clean energy Sustainable cities

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student has acquired the foundation for understanding the energy issue in its entirety from the management of primary resources to the international geo-political fallout in order to develop critical skills in the reading of the events related to energy recovery. The analysis of energy chains will be focused on technologies for the production of biofuels through the industrial biochemistry and chemistry of fermentation. The course will provide the basis for enzymology and bioenergetics useful to understand examples of industrial production of biodiesel, biogas, bioethanol and biohydrogen.

Course contents

Energetic and exergetic analysis: first principle yields and energy
The international energy system: history of needs and consumption of primary energy worldwide
Climate change and greenhouse: environmental impact in the use of resources for energy production.
Needs and availability of energy resources: the Hubbert model developed through biological models that describe the growth of microbial cells
Energy resources and geopolitical situation worldwide: the sectors of oil, coal and natural gas, international equilibrium and their changes as a function of expected
Solar energy as a renewable energy: solar radiation descriptive factors
Cells and bio-fuel cells: mechanisms biomimetic for the production of energy in the metabolic processes of microbial cells.
Direct conversion of solar energy: technologies at high (concentrated solar power), medium (solar ponds) and low temperature (solar panels), photosynthesis as a biological model for the development of photovoltaic technology
Indirect conversion of solar energy: wind power, hydropower, geothermal energy, biomass and the organic fraction of municipal solid waste through conversion systems into biofuels (biogas, bioethanol, ...)
Integrated System for Energy Management: Rational use of energy in the budgets of territorial energy and new energy sectors.


1) C. Quaglierini, M. Tannini, E. Paladino. Chimica delle Fermentazioni e laboratorio. Zanichelli (1995)

2) Energia per l'astronave Terra di Nicola Armaroli e Vincenzo Balzani - Editore: Zanichelli (2009)

3) Energetica Generale di Gianni Comini, Giovanni Cortella e Giulio Croce – Editore: SGE Editoriali Padova

Teaching methods

The lessons are constantly being updated and is achieved through interactive communication that will satisfy the curiosity of the student in understanding both the theoretical and practical aspects of teaching that through application examples can clearly be seen in everyday life. The purpose of the course is to provide tools for both the learning of the concepts that in order to engage critically with innovation and technology transfer in industrial biochemistry in a context of sustainability ethics, social and economic industrial processes.

Assessment methods

The final examination is oral and is designed to assess the student's ability to use the concepts and the cognitive tools learned during the course.
- Know the energy problem and the general mathematical models to assess the availability of resources as a function of growth models
- Know the basic concepts of biochemistry and energetics of cell metabolism for the production of biofuels
- Know the principles of key technologies to produce energy from renewable sources
- Know the basic elements for an integrated approach to energy management
The final score of the course is defined by an oral test on three specific questions on topics related to the main objectives of the course.

Teaching tools

The course is characterized by lectures with the aid of an overhead projector and computer support for the display of text and images (projection). The entire course will include electronic materials

Office hours

See the website of Leonardo Setti