Credits: 5

Schedule: 13.01.2020 - 29.05.2020

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Herbert Sixta

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

III-V (1st year)

Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

After the course the student
1. understands the chemistry and technology of existing and novel fractionation processes and based in this knowledge can describe the principles of a forest biorefinery
2. is able to characterize the rheological properties of lignocellulosic polymers in solution (viscosimetry, light scattering, viscoelasticity) and the physicochemistry associated with chain molecules with special emphasis on natural polymers.
3. understands the principles of the degradation and depolymerization reactions kinetics.
4. can make justified predictions about chemical reactions taking place during biomass refining processes in different conditions
5. can explain the basics of the chemistry of novel solvents for lignocellulose and is able to describe the interactions of the solvents with biomass components using semi-empirical solvent parameters

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The course presents the chemistry and technology of the existing and novel biomass refining processes, starting by presenting the most important physical and chemical pretreatment methods for the biomass raw material. In selected exercises, the kinetics of delignification and carbohydrate degradation reactions will be presented and executed including mass transfer considerations. Thereafter, the chemistry of the fractionation processes are presented, focusing on the conventional (kraft, acid sulfite) and non-conventional (carboxylic acid, organosolv, hot water) pulping processes in detail. Further, the principles of the most promising biorefinery processes are discussed and developed together with the students in a mix of presentation and literature study.  The focus is led on integrated biorefinery processes as a part of pulp mills or chemical plants.

The course requires a deep understanding in wood chemistry with special emphasis on cellulose and lignin chemistry. To ensure this, the students need to prepare literature studies on selected wood chemistry topics of which parts are also orally presented and discussed among the students under the guidance of the lecturer in charge.  In the final phase of the course, the students need to prepare a scientific review article on a selected topic in biorefineries.  

Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

135 h in total; Lectures 30 h, Project work 45 h, Review articles on selected scientific topics from the literature 60 h


Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Lecture notes, text books on wood chemistry, pulping technology, biorefineries and green chemistry.

Course Homepage (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 



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