Course Title: Biomass and Solar Fuels

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Biomass and Solar Fuels

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering


Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


172H School of Engineering


Sem 2 2017

Course Coordinator: Associate Prof. Yasuhiro Tachibana

Course Coordinator Phone: +(61 3) 9925 6127

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 251.3.54

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In this course, you will study fundamentals (biochemistry) and technical information on biomass and biofuel technologies including production and use in mobile and stationary power and thermal systems. You will also study the theory (fundamental physical chemistry) and state-of-the-art technology of directly converting water and/or CO2 to fuels using sunlight. You will learn to conduct assessments for sustainability of systems employing such technologies, by considering economic, environmental, and social criteria.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes:

1. Needs, Context and Systems

  • Describe, investigate and analyse complex engineering systems and associated issues (using systems thinking and modelling techniques)
  • Exposit legal, social, economic, ethical and environmental interests, values, requirements and expectations of key stakeholders

2. Problem Solving and Design

  • Develop creative and innovative solutions to engineering problems

3. Analysis

  • Comprehend and apply advanced theory-based understanding of engineering fundamentals and specialist bodies of knowledge in the selected discipline area to predict the effect of engineering activities
  • Apply underpinning natural, physical and engineering sciences.

4. Professional Practice

  • Initiate, plan, lead or manage engineering activities

5. Research

  • Be aware of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline
  • Assess, acquire and apply the competencies and resources appropriate to engineering activities 

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) 

On successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Develop innovative energy solutions to produce and use biomass and solar fuels sustainably in stationary and mobile applications
  2. Apply the fundamental and technical knowledge obtained in this course in conducting related engineering projects
  3. Communicate, at an engineering level, your ideas, proposals, and projects relating to biomass and solar fuel-based energy systems
  4. Conduct research studies on biofuel and solar fuels
  5. Comment constructively on proposals, designs, policies and/or R&D activities related to biomass and solar fuels

Overview of Learning Activities



You will be studying in internal mode which entails taking part in a series of lectures, seminars, and workshops. The principal learning activities will be:

  • Attending lectures and seminars covering the fundamental (biochemistry and physical chemistry) and practical aspects of biomass and solar fuel technologies
  • Participating in class and/or online discussions
  • Operate, measure the performance, and investigate some biofuel/solar fuel technologies in laboratories
  • Solving problems relating to biomass and solar fuels
  • Conducting and reporting on an engineering project, relating to the topics covered in this course, followed by a presentation to the class
  • Providing constructive feedback on others’ ideas, proposal, and/or designs


Overview of Learning Resources

Guidance on resource material will be available online through the MyRMIT Blackboard. These resources include, prescribed text books, journal papers, and internet resources, as well as lecture notes and other material provided through the MyRMIT Blackboard and mainly available through the RMIT website/library

Overview of Assessment

X This course has no hurdle requirements.

☐ All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching).


Assessment tasks

Assessment Task 1: Assignments relating to the contents in the lectures
Weighting 30%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1,2,4

Assessment Task 2: Laboratory activities
Weighting 10%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1,2,4

Assessment Task 3: Presentation
Weighting 20%
This assessment task supports CLO 2,3,5

Assessment 4: Project proposal / Report
Weighting 40% 
This assessment supports CLOs 2,3,5