Carbohydrates: Monomers amd Polymers
Full course description
Alternative feedstocks to conventional fossil raw materials have attracted increasing interest over recent years for the manufacture of chemicals, fuels and materials. The growing attention about a green and sustainable chemistry has also contributed to call attention to biomass and specifically on lignocellulosic feedstock as a promising, renewable and vast resource for chemicals, mainly without competition with food applications. The concept of biorefinery can be defined as “an integral unit that can convert biomass into bio-based products including food, feed, chemical and/or materials, and bioenergy such as biofuels and power”. The aim of this emerging concept is to use the lignocellulosic biomass by separating its main constituents with increased value provided by its components of cellulose, lignins, hemicelluoses and xylose. This concept of a biorefinery falls within the approach of green chemistry, avoiding the production of waste low value-products and recycling solvents used to extract all the components of biomass feedstock. Another valuable source of the building blocks for the new materials is animal industry byproducts. Efficient utilization of animal industry byproducts has direct impact on the economy and environmental pollution. For example, treated fish waste has found many applications among with which the most important are biodiesel/biogas, dietectic products (chitosan), natural pigments (after extraction) and cosmetics (collagen).
This course is a course that combines biochemistry and organic chemistry in carbohydrates and materials that can be obtained from carbohydrates and proteins.
The course-specific intended learning outcomes (ILOs) are:
- The students will be able to obtain and improve their knowledge and comprehension of carbohydrates and animal derived biopolymers.
- The students will gather the skills to analyze research literature describing carbohydrate/protein derived materials and the possibilities of biobased materials in different applications.
- The students will demonstrate the ability to plan and perform an individual high-level scientific research project in the field of biopolymers, specifically, to make a new biobased material with superabsorbent properties.
- Students will practice the scientific method by writing hypotheses, collecting and analyzing data and troubleshooting when needed.
- Students effectively communicate both in writing through a written report describing the results, conclusions and the relevance of the conducted research, and orally in a final presentation.
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