ABE 4655C

Semester Taught - Fall

Catalog Description


This course is intended to provide the knowledge for the production of energy (fuels), chemicals and materials from renewable resources. The course includes the fundamental principles and practical applications from renewable materials to bio-based materials: biorefinery and biobased products overview, fundamental concepts in understanding biorefinery and biobased products; biomass production; materials from biomass; chemical platforms from biomass; energy and fuels from biomass; pilot-plant and process design.


It is recommended that the students have a basic background in general chemistry. The topics of this interdisciplinary course take into consideration that students will be coming to the class from varied backgrounds. Proper background materials will be provided when needed.

Course Objectives

This course is to provide students an overview of status quo and future direction of the engineering bioproducts from renewable resources. Topics are selected to cover the fundamental understanding, conversion technologies, and practical applications from renewable biomass to energy, fuel, materials, and chemicals. The students should understand fundamental principles of bioproducts from renewable resources and also gain basic skills to further work on the biorefinery and bioproducts areas.

Contributions of Course to Meeting the Professional Component for ABET

This course contributes 2 credit hours toward meeting the minimum 48 credit hours of Engineering Topics in the basic-level curriculum for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural and Biological Engineering.

Relationship of Course to Program Outcomes

From the list of (a) through (k) program outcomes listed below, this course addresses the following (a) (d) (g), (h), (j), and (k).

ABET Program Outcomes

  • (a) Apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  • (b) Design and conduct experiments, as well as analyze and interpret data
  • (c) Design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs
  • (d) Function on multi-disciplinary teams
  • (e) Identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  • (f) Understand professional and ethical responsibilities
  • (g) Communicate effectively
  • (h) Understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context
  • (i) Recognize the need for, and engage in life long learning
  • (j) Understand contemporary engineering issues
  • (k) Use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice


Zhaohui Tong
Office: Room 103 Rogers Hall
Phone: 392-1864 x103

Material/Supply Fees


Class Materials Required

Reference Texts:

  • Title: Sustainable Production of Fuels, Chemicals and Fibers from Forest Biomass
    Editors(s): Junyong (J.Y. ) Zhu, Xiao Zhang, and Xuejun (Jun) Pan
    Publication date: 2011
    Edition: First edition
    ISBN: 978-0-8412-2643-2
    Publisher(s): American Chemical Society

    Title: Biorefineries-Industrial Processes and Products
    Editor(s): Birgit Kamm, Patrick R. Gruber, Michael Kamm
    Publication date: 2006
    Edition: First edition
    ISBN: 3-527-31194-7
    Publisher(s): Wiley-VCH Verlag Gmbh &Co. KGaA

Course Outline (Tentative)

  1. Biorefinery and biobased products overview
  2. Fundamental Concepts in understanding biorefinery
  3. Energy and fuels from biomass: bioethanol, biodiesel, biohydrocarbon
  4. Energy and fuels from biomass: thermochemical conversion
  5. Energy and fuels from biomass: others
  6. Materials from biomass: overview and fundamentals
  7. Materials from biomass: natural fibers, cellulose, lignin and others
  8. Chemicals from biomass

Attendance and Expectations: Attendance is vital to class participation and in-class discussion. Absences for which a medical or court excuse is provided (professional letterhead required) will be excused. Any significant tardy or early departure from class will be figured as a half absence.


Grading  Scale


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A C- will not be a qualifying grade for critical tracking courses.

Undergraduate students, in order to graduate, must have an overall GPA and an upper-division GPA of 2.0 or better (C or better). Note: a C- average is equivalent to a GPA of 1.67, and therefore, it does not satisfy this graduation requirement. For more information on grades and grading policies, please visit: https://catalog.ufl.edu/ugrad/current/regulations/info/grades.aspx

Exam Policy: There are two formal exams for this course. The student grade is based on homework, term presentation, quiz, and exams.

Academic Honesty

As a student at the University of Florida, you have committed yourself to uphold the Honor Code, which includes the following pledge: “We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.”  You are expected to exhibit behavior consistent with this commitment to the UF academic community, and on all work submitted for credit at the University of Florida, the following pledge is either required or implied: "On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment." 
It is assumed that you will complete all work independently in each course unless the instructor provides explicit permission for you to collaborate on course tasks (e.g. assignments, papers, quizzes, exams). Furthermore, as part of your obligation to uphold the Honor Code, you should report any condition that facilitates academic misconduct to appropriate personnel. It is your individual responsibility to know and comply with all university policies and procedures regarding academic integrity and the Student Honor Code.  Violations of the Honor Code at the University of Florida will not be tolerated. Violations will be reported to the Dean of Students Office for consideration of disciplinary action. For more information regarding the Student Honor Code, please see: http://www.dso.ufl.edu/sccr/process/student-conduct-honor-code.  

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

The Disability Resource Center coordinates the needed accommodations of students with disabilities. This includes registering disabilities, recommending academic accommodations within the classroom, accessing special adaptive computer equipment, providing interpretation services and mediating faculty-student disability related issues.

0001 Reid Hall, 352-392-8565, www.dso.ufl.edu/drc/  

Software Use

All faculty, staff and student of the University are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing software use. Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator. Because such violations are also against University policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate. We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to uphold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

Campus Helping Resources

Students experiencing crises or personal problems that interfere with their general well-being are encouraged to utilize the university’s counseling resources. The Counseling & Wellness Center provides confidential counseling services at no cost for currently enrolled students. Resources are available on campus for students having personal problems or lacking clear career or academic goals, which interfere with their academic performance.

  • University Counseling & Wellness Center, 3190 Radio Road, 352-392-1575, www.counseling.ufl.edu/cwc/

    Counseling Services
    Groups and Workshops
    Outreach and Consultation
    Self-Help Library
    Training Programs
    Community Provider Database

  • Career Resource Center, First Floor JWRU, 392-1601, www.crc.ufl.edu/