EGEE 439
Alternative Fuels from Biomass Sources

Lesson 11: Additional Processes for Fuels from Biomass

Lesson 11: Additional Processes for Fuels from Biomass


We’ve covered the basics of petroleum-based fuel production and electricity generation from coal, as well as processing aspects of several biofuels - primarily ethanol production from corn and sugar, and biodiesel production from vegetable oils. We also covered some thermochemical methods to produce liquid jet and diesel fuels that are more like petro-jet and diesel fuel. As you might think, there are other processes available to produce liquid and gaseous fuels beyond ethanol and biodiesel which we covered in the previous lessons. This lesson will cover anaerobic digestion, which makes gaseous fuels using organic materials and enzymes; and syngas fermentation, which can make liquid fuels and alcohols from gases using enzymes. We will also cover some biomass-to-liquid processes that are still in the research phase.

Lesson Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • explain what anaerobic digestion is;
  • explain what syngas fermentation is;
  • utilize the information on each to supplement biofuel liquids conversion technologies;
  • evaluate the best methods to date for biofuel liquids conversion technologies.

Lesson 11 Road Map

This is the final lesson of the course. This lesson will take two weeks to complete. You should complete the reading during the first week. Your Final Project will be due at the time specified and there will be Quiz #5. Please refer to the Course Syllabus for specific time frames and assignment due dates.


If there is anything in the lesson materials that you would like to comment on or don't quite understand, please post your thoughts and/or questions to our Throughout the Course Questions and Comments discussion forum. The discussion forum will be checked regularly. While you are there, feel free to post responses to your classmates if you are able to help. Regular office hours will be held to provide help for EGEE 439 students.