Faculty of Engineering

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Engineering
Organisational UnitDepartment of Chemical Engineering
OfferedClayton Second semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Professor Gill Garnier


An examination of the fundamental engineering and scientific elements involved in the processing of biomass in biorefineries including reaction engineering, biotechnology and separation processes.


Learning objectives of this unit are that the student will:

  1. Acquire an increased knowledge and understanding of:
    • Reaction engineering - Kinetics, reaction/mass transfer limitations, selectivity, improving reaction rates, catalysis (homogeneous and heterogeneous)
    • Biotechnology - enzymatic reactions, fermentation fundamentals, selectivity, improving reaction rates
    • Separation processes - Liquid/liquid (distillation, extraction), Liquid-solid (filtration, centrifugation)
    • Novel concepts relevant to biorefineries - Carbon Cycle (micro and macro perspectives), Sustainability (water, energy, by-products minimization, local/global perspective)

  1. Develop the skills required to:
    • Analyse new developments in fundamental aspects of biorefineries, assess their relevance and make reasoned recommendations
    • Keep up to date with new applications for biorefineries and assess their potential from a technical perspective

  1. Demonstrate the ability to:
    • Undertake in depth research of the literature on the fundamentals of biorefineries, analyse the information obtained and produce a report which demonstrates understanding and insight
    • Organise practical experiments, make detailed observations of experiments, analyse the results and produce an accurate and detailed report


Assignments and reports: 40%
Test: 10%
Final Examination: 50%

Workload requirements

52 hours preliminary and major assignment, 28 hours lectures and 8 hours laboratory classes in the main contact week, 63 hours private study

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)