EGEE 439
Alternative Fuels from Biomass Sources

Lesson 12: 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. In Lesson 8, we 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 (Lessons 5-7) and biodiesel as defined in Lesson 9. 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 best methods to date for biofuel liquids conversion technologies.

Lesson 12 Road Map

This is the final lesson of the course. This lesson will take us two weeks to complete. You should complete reading through Lesson 12 during the first week. Your Final Project will be due at the conclusion of the second week. In addition, Exam #4 will be offered during Final Exam Week. Please refer to the Course Syllabus for specific time frames and due dates. Specific directions for the assignments below can be found within this lesson.

Steps for Completing Lesson 12
Step Activity Access/Directions
1 Final Project 12.5 (Due by end of second week)
2 Exam #4 12.5 (During Finals Week)


If you have any questions, please send them to All Course Instructors through ANGEL e-mail. I will check daily to respond. If your question is one that is relevant to the entire class, I may respond to the entire class rather than individually.