CHE5290 - Biomass resource and its utilisation - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

Department of Chemical Engineering

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Mark Banaszak Holl


Dr Warren Batchelor

Unit guides



  • Trimester 1 2018 (On-campus)


This unit equips students to evaluate the availability of biomass for specific biorefinery or pulp and paper projects and the potential impact of the political and social climate. It will study available forest and other biomass resources and their harvesting, state and federal legislation regarding their use and social attitudes towards the utilization of biomass. This unit will also study the structure and chemistry of relevant biomass raw materials and the current and past structure of the biorefining and pulp and paper industries, and will provide a brief overview of biorefining and pulp and paper processes.


Learning objectives of this unit are that the student will:

  1. Acquire an increased knowledge and understanding of:
    • The commercial use and trading of biomass in Australia and New Zealand, in the international context, including pricing and market arrangements and likely future trends
    • Issues and legislation affecting the utilization of biomass
    • The structure of the Australasian pulp and paper industry, in the international context
    • The structure of wood from softwoods and hardwoods and its physical and chemical composition. The properties of cellulose from wood and other sources
    • Debarking and chipping operations
    • Pulp and paper production processes
    • The biorefinery industry and its potential
    • Biorefinery processes.
  2. Develop the skills required to:
    • Analyse reports concerning the utilization of biomass, draw conclusions and make appropriate and innovative recommendations
    • Keep up to date with developments in relevant aspects of the biomass conversion industry and assess their likely impact
  3. Demonstrate the ability to:
    • Undertake in depth research of the literature on a specific topic related to this unit, 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% (1 hour)

Final Examination: 50% (2 hours)

Workload requirements

28 hours lectures and 8 hours laboratory classes in a one week intensive, 115 hours private study.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study