Wageningen University is offering free online course on Advanced Biorefinery. This course requires least BSc level knowledge on courses and topics such as chemistry,

In this course, applicants will learn how to design an effective biorefinery to obtain valuable components from various biobased feedstocks (plants, organisms and waste streams). The course will start on May 30, 2017.

Course At A Glance

Length: 8 weeks
15-20 hours pw
Wageningen University & Research and edx
Price: Free
Certificate Available:
Yes, Add a Verified Certificate for $199
Course Starts on May 30, 2017

Providers’ Details

Wageningen University and Research centre is dedicated to exploring the potential of nature to improve the quality of life. Learn more about WUR. WageningenX courses train (future) professionals in sustainable food systems and help consumers making informed choices about what they eat, how it is produced and the impact of their choices on the environment and society.

About This Course

In a biorefinery a complex biobased feedstock is separated and processed in such a way that sustainability and application opportunities are maximized. In this course we will focus on tools and techniques to efficiently disentangle, separate and convert different biomass based feedstocks into simpler (functional) components.
First we will discuss available techniques and processes for biomass activation/disentanglement and separation.
Next we explore how to design a biorefinery taking into account feedstock and sustainable energy use. Therefore we will dive into:

  • Mass and energy balances;
  • Design of biorefinery process units to obtain multiple products from one type of biomass;
  • How to recover energy and resources in the biorefinery system;
  • Evaluation of the designed system with respect to sustainability and economic criteria;
  • Evaluation of criteria for successful implementation (operational and investment costs).


Learning Outcomes

  • To choose proper (chemical) pretreatment and conversions to arrive at the required products.
  • Conceptually design a biorefinery process.
  • Critically evaluate a process design with respect to energy and feedstock efficiency.
  • Compare that design with fossil based processes.
  • Know how to activate/disentangle and separate biobased feedstocks


Ton van Boxtel                                                                                                                                                           

Ton van Boxtel is associate professor Biobased Chemistry and Technology at Wageningen University & Research.


Corjan van den Berg

Corjan van den Berg is assistant professor at Wageningen University & Research.


Costas Nikiforidis                                                                                                        

Costas Nikiforidis is an assistant professor at Wageningen University & Research.


  • BSc in technology, engineering (and applied) sciences. You should have at least BSc level knowledge on courses and topics such as chemistry, mathematics and process engineering.
  • Successful completion of BB01x and BB02x is advised, but not obligatory.

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Create an edX account to SignUp
  • Choose “Register Now” to get started.
  • EdX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
  • Once applicant sign up for a course and activate their account, click on the Log In button on the edx.org homepage and type in their email address and edX password. This will take them to the dashboard, with access to each of their active courses. (Before a course begins, it will be listed on their dashboard but will not yet have a “view course” option.)


Apply Now