The students will understand the principles and potential uses for biomass as well as the shortcomings of biomass as a renewable energy. The students will develop an understanding of the growth and degradation of every type of biomass, as well as the basics of a balanced ecosystem and the sustainable use of biomass. Students gain basic understanding on biomass processing technologies. In cooperation with the Energy Systems & Society Module, one shall gain an understanding of the connection between man and the function of a healthy ecosystem and its preservation.
Competence: The students gain competencies with critical discourse of competitive uses of biomass between human consumption, animal feed, raw material and fuel. The students are taught the issues concerning biomass transportation as well as the economic and ecological criteria involving its planning and use. They develop criteria, in order to address the complex relation between the future and a sustainable energy supply. The students gain competence to better the living conditions of rural inhabitants in developing countries through improved applications of biomass for daily energy needs. Content: Basic Understanding of: • Nature or photosynthesis: chemical storage of solar energy; Efficiency of Plants • Composition of biomass: sugar, starch, fat, oils, protein, lignin • Knowledge of typical crop yield and energy content of various plants • Typical energy crops in different climates • Form and distribution of biomass uses in different geographic and climatic regions • Traditional and modern energetic uses of biomass as well as the efficiency and technology • Degradation process of biomass: Microorganisms, classification and metabolism (main degradation)
Sustainable Biomass Use • Soil fertility, decrease and destruction of natural fertility • Soil ecology • Growth and diversity of biomass • Roll of the microorganism in the metabolic cycle
Technology The guiding theme are the principles of traditional and modern energetic use of biomass, the constraints and efficiencies for food preparation, transport, and thermal and electrical energy production • Biomass cookers, Improved Cook Stoves • Wood gasification • Biogas equipment • Biodiesel production • Ethanol production from sugarcane • Methanol production