BSEN40560 Biorefinery Process & Tech

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module will introduce and critically assess biorefinery processes and technologies. The module will identify and explain the concepts of the varying conversion pathways for different biomass feedstocks to bioproducts. The module will examine the engineering concepts behind the conversion processes to produce bio-based end-product including; pre-treatment, bioprocessing and separation biofuels and bioenergy, biopolymers etc. In addition, the module will consider innovation and market development issues and challenges to bioeconomy implementation, integrating classroom learning into the development of a business plan for circular bioeconomy. A number of national and international biorefinery case studies will be presented and examined. The focus of the module is on the application of engineering science to develop integrated biorefinery systems with a focus on sustainability.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to;
(1) Define and evaluate a biorefinery in terms of its process design with respect to energy and feedstock efficiencies and its role in the sustainable bioeconomy,
(2) Identify and describe key conversion methods for production of biobased products and determine their challenges and opportunities,
(3) Describe the impact of innovation and entrepreneurship in supporting the development of the bioeconomy,
(4) Calculate design parameters and efficiencies of key processes in biorefining towards production of biobased products.
(5) Critically analyse relevant legal and regulatory frameworks.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The majority of teaching will be delivered through lectures during which there will be class discussion where appropriate.
The tutorials will be based on a problem-based learning approach during which students will engage in group work.
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Examination: 4 hour end of trimester exam 2 hour End of Trimester Exam Yes Graded No


Group Project: Group Project (Business plan for a bioeconomy project) Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Online automated feedback

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

The tutorials for this module will involve group work. These will be interactive, discussion-based tutorials and students will receive group feedback as they work through the tutorial. Students will be required to present the results of their group work towards the end of the semester, group feedback will be provided after this assessment.

Name Role
Deirdre Blake Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Tamíris Da Costa Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Ronald Halim Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Ajay Iyer Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Joseph Sweeney Lecturer / Co-Lecturer