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Fundamentals of Biofuels, from feedstock to the market

The fundamentals of biofuels, from feedstock to the market training course is a cross-discipline seminar drawing its content across the conventional and advanced biofuels industries as well as its integration into the traditional petroleum industry.  This course covers the science, technology, and management aspects of producing different types of biofuels, including ethanol and biodiesel.

Our society is facing both environmental and political issues of fossil fuels. Global warming and carbon sequestering along with the troubles in Middle East, where most of the large oil producers are located, threat our national security. While we have found renewable and sustainable substitutes for electricity, a good alternative for fuel is yet to be implemented. Biofuel is a promising option on the table.

There are two types of biofuels currently existing in the market: Ethanol (corn- and cellulosic-based) and biodiesel (from biomass and used cooking oil).

These two types of biofuels have been used in the U.S. since 1900’s for motor fuels, but to be used in the cars they haven’t been able to win the competition over petroleum due to the low price of oil. Since a decade ago every strategy has been made seems a step toward bringing biodiesel into the market as an alternative to gasoline, instead of additives, while all the tax credits and government subsidies were supporting the industry. In today market, such support by the government is vanishing and thus raises this question that whether (or not) biofuels will survive. Many believe that future does still belong to biofuels, because more investors are leaving the petroleum industry to invest on next generation feedstocks and innovative technologies. Previously, corn and soybeans were dominant biofuel feedstocks, while currently switch grass, algae, UCO, etc. have also attracted major interests. Also, new technologies to produce cellulosic ethanol, bio-based alcohols, green diesel, and jet fuels are topics of ongoing research as well. Cellulosic biomass is a complex sugar polymer found mostly in agricultural residues, forestry wastes, municipal solid waste, and energy crops. The main components of cellulosic biomass are cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. The goal is to convert all of these components into energy at a reasonable cost. Similar to ethanol, biodiesel also is under progress. Biodiesel can be produced from vegetable oils, animal fat, or used cooking oil recycled from restaurants. Biodiesel, aka as B100, is a clean alternative to gasoline. It is used to fuel the compression-ignition engines and can generate equal drive force.



In the past, catalysts used in the esterification/transesterification processes would make this biofuel expensive. However, now there are new enzymatic methods in the market that can lower the production price significantly. In the fundamentals of biofuels, from feedstock to the market training course, our experienced instructors will give an overview on what each of these biofuels are made of, what processes are involved in their production, what are the advantages and disadvantages of each, and how we can possibly make them more cost-effective and affordable.

In order for the biofuels to be feasible, they have to be economically and environmentally sustainable. Our instructors at TONEX will elaborate the economics, environmental impacts, and policy issues of the biofuels in the United States to help you identify the lacks of the policy making bureaucracy and technical burdens of producing the affordable and sustainable biofuels.

Feedstock choices and technology are evolving rapidly as 1rst generation biodiesel and ethanol producers and marketers explore and move toward 2nd and 3rd generation fuels.  The fundamentals of biofuels, from feedstock to the market training course provides a thorough education highlighting key topics from these rapidly evolving industries. In the fundamentals of biofuels, from feedstock to the market training course, we introduce you to the biological and chemical characteristics of the biomass. We also teach you the principals of the biological, chemical, and physical conversion reactions of feedstock to biofuel.

Who Should Attend?

The fundamentals of biofuels, from feedstock to the market training is a 2-day course designed for:

  • Engineers, scientists, managers, investors, and policymakers who are involved in the field of biofuels, or are planning to apply for jobs in this field, or are interested in investing in or developing the field of biofuels.
  • Ethanol producers and marketers
  • Biodiesel producers and marketers

What Will You Learn?

Below are the main topics we will cover in this seminar (more details can be found under the full course description):

  • Overview Of The Biofuels Industry
  • Types Of Biomass And Available Resources
  • Ethanol
  • Biodiesel
  • Glycerin From Biodiesel
  • Algae Biofuel
  • Synergy Of Algae Farms And Wastewater Treatment Facilities
  • Other Types Of Biofuels
  • Economics, Policies And Regulations, And Environmental Impacts Of Biofuel


Fundamentals of Biofuels, from feedstock to the market

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