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2019/20 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

CAPE5415M Bioenergy & Waste to Energy

15 creditsClass Size: 55

Module manager: Profesor JM Jones

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Waste and biomass as renewable technologies in relation to energy recovery and a low carbon future.


By the end of this module students should have a sound knowledge of the underlying principles of the renewable energy technologies related to waste and biomass. In particular, energy recovery from landfill and waste incineration, pyrolysis/gasification technologies applied to wastes and in the use of biomass in power generation, production of biofuels and certain chemicals from bio resources. Students should know the drivers of increased use of waste and biomass resources and associated legislative and environmental issues.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students will have a detailed knowledge of the different technology options used in the processing of waste and biomass.
Students will gain knowledge of the legislative and environmental drivers behind the increased use of waste and biomass for resource and energy recovery and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and thereby mitigation of climate change.
Knowledge gained in the area of waste will include the main technology options of landfill gas recovery and use, incineration of waste and alternative options of pyrolysis/gasification and anaeorobic digestion for fuels and energy recovery.
Knowledge gained in the area of biomass will include biomass supply chains and biomass resources, fuel characteristics of biomass and their use in combustion in power plants, issues related to improved fuel properties and high ash contents. Additionally, knowledge of biodiesel production and the concept of the biorefinery will be gained.


Legislation related to waste and biomass;
Waste landfill gas, properties, formation, collection and utilisation;
Environmental issues related to waste landfills;
Incineration of waste, technology and environmental issues;
Pyrolysis of different wastes for fuel production;
Gasification technologies related to wastes;
Anaerobic digestion;
Advanced waste management processes;
Supply chains and biomass resources;
Biomass composition and properties;
Review of solid fuel characterisation, energy units, energy efficiency, stoichiometry;
Energy densification - solid biomass products - their production and properties;
Co-firing and plant conversion;
Problems with ash in combustion;
Biodiesel production;
Biorefinery/biotechnology and green chemistry topics.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours75.00
Private study hours39.00
Total Contact hours36.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Includes 75 hours research and study to prepare the 2 portfolio pieces. Remaining private study is revision and assimilation of lecture material.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Class problem sessions; portfolio tutorials; mid-semester class Q&A revision sessions.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentPortfolio 1 - 6 pages25.00
AssignmentPortfolio 2 - 6 pages25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

The portfolio will ask for two examples of biomass/waste renewable/sustainable installations and give an overview of geographical location, background to the technology used, fuel used, output, distribution and use, environmental/social issues (if applicable). Each example would be about 6 pages in length.

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 01/10/2019


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