Biofuels- An Introduction: Online Course & Certificate

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20 contact hours
Used For:
2 Continuing Education Units
Course and Certificate:

Fuel derived from renewable resources present an attractive alternative to petroleum, with benefits ranging from reduced green house gases to reduced dependency on foreign oil. “Biofuels- An Introduction” is a new course that provide students with an overview of conventional biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel), the process from biomass feedstock to finished product, and energy potential. The course reviews corn, sugarcane, and oils that can be pretreated and converted into biofuel. We also explore crop availability and pricing, fuel potential, case studies, and outlook for ethanol and biodiesel.

After completing Biofuels- An Introduction, students will be equipped with a basic understanding of the following:

  • global petroleum supply-demand situation
  • the need for biofuels
  • corn ethanol process, challenges, and economics
  • biodiesel process, challenges, and economics
  • sugarcane ethanol process, challenges, and economics
  • outlook for the future


A basic understanding of polymer science is recommended.


 Students will be assigned 5 homework assignments, and 1 final exam. 

Lesson 1- Introduction

  • Petroleum and fuel consumption
  • Supply-Demand
  • Biofuel

Lesson 2- Corn Ethanol

  • Feedstock
  • Dry milling process
  • Wet milling process
  • Fermentation, distillation processes
  • Energy yield
  • Economics

Lesson 3- Biodiesel

  • Feedstock
  • Trans-esterification
  • Thermal depolymerization
  • Energy yield
  • Economics

Lesson 4- Sugarcane

  • Feedstock
  • Milling and refining
  • Fermentation, distillation processes
  • Energy yield
  • Economics

Lesson 5- Challenges

  • Pipeline operations
  • Rail economics
  • Other

Lesson 6- Outlook

  • Global supply projections
  • Need for alternate biomass sources


 This course is Instructor-led and delivered through our award-winning online Learning Management System. 

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