Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 8 x 1 hour lectures
Practical 60 hours of practicals based as blocked visits over a two-week period to research facilities, field sites etc.


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Group case study report 2,500 words  Group case study on the theoretical and practical bases of bioenergy, with examples  20%
Semester Assessment Individual case study and 2500 word report  Individual case study on the development of a bioenergy resource (eg Miscanthus) for an advanced conversion technology (eg bioethanol from ligno-cellulose).  30%
Semester Assessment Individual scoping report (1500 words) and oral presentation  Individual scoping report on sequestration of carbon and climate change mitigation, plus oral presentation of findings (15 minutes, plus 5 minutes for questions)  30%
Semester Assessment Individual written review (1500 words)  Individual written review of a single bioconversion tehcnology, with particular regard to state-of-the-art resource supply and value to stakeholders and society.  20%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of individual elements. Alternative to group case study report as determined by the examination board.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Outcome 1
Critically assess bioenergy as a route to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Outcome 2
Demonstrate a fundamental and practical knowledge of biomass resources and conversion technologies.

Outcome 3
Make confident, sound and objective judgments on the complex scientific and societal issues associated with bioenergy.

Outcome 4
Demonstrate ability in the communication of scientific issues, to the public and their peers, with accuracy and clarity, both orally and in writing.

Brief description

This new module provides the foundational skills required to explore Bioenergy in the context of climate change, knowledge of biomass resources and bioenergy conversion pathways and supply chains, and looks at environmental impacts including carbon mitigation associated with bioenergy. Student-centered learning will be supported by lectures, background reading, workshops and the production of reports and presentations.


The module explores climate change in terms of trends and broad consequences in the context of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios. Mitigation including the concept of stabilization and adaptation will be discussed.

The nature and development of biomass resources will be evaluated through the investigation of selected examples such as biofuel crops, forestry, wastes (e.g. from animal farms) and algae. These investigations will include comparisons of historic and new generation biofuels and `market' traits such as availability, economics, transport and regulations.

Bioconversion pathways will be described. Examples include thermal technologies, biofuels, anaerobic digestion, biohydrogen, combined heat and power, bioethanol from ligno-cellulose, and the biorefinery concept.
Environmental impacts are explored through scoping reports of carbon mitigation and sequestration, life cycle assessments, visual effects on landscape, nitrogen leaching, soil erosion and water quality.

Transferable skills

1. Problem Solving:
Practical workshops involving case studies

2. Research Skills:
Research for the report and presentation assessments

3. Communication:
Oral presentation and group work

4. Improving own learning and performance:
Targeted self-learning

5. Team work:
Group work

6. Information technology:
Use of computational resources, modeling etc

7. Application of number:
Problem solving, carbon sequestrations, conversion efficiencies of various technologies

8. Personal development and career planning:
Networking during visits and career pathway planning insight into potential areas of future employment

9. Subject Specific Skills
Application of the principles underlying the use of crops for bioenergy. Evaluation of their impacts on environmental change. Deconstruction and critical evaluation of the literature and compilation of subject specific reports and case studies.


This module is at CQFW Level 7