Course Title: Renewable and Solar Fuels

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Renewable and Solar Fuels

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

Please check your Canvas course shell closer to when the course starts to see if this course requires mandatory in-person attendance. The delivery method of the course might have to change quickly in response to changes in the local state/national directive regarding in-person course attendance. 


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,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 2 2022

Course Coordinator: 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

To complete this course successfully, students should have a background in university-level theoretical and practical chemistry. A student is required to have successfully completed at least half a year of study in physical chemistry or MIET2371 Sustainable Energy Fundamentals course, or provide evidence of equivalent capabilities.

Course Description

In this course, you will study fundamentals (chemistry and biochemistry) and technical information on solar fuel and biofuel technologies including production, processes 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 and of environmental remediation 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
  • Communicate in a variety of different ways to collaborate with other people, including accurate listening, reading and comprehension, taking into account the knowledge, expectations, requirements, interests, terminology and language of the intended audience

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 blended mode which entails taking part in a series of lectorials, and laboratories. The principal learning activities will be: 

  • Attending lectorials and seminars covering the fundamental (biochemistry and physical chemistry) and practical aspects of biofuel and solar fuel technologies 
  • Participating in class and/or online discussions 
  • 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 Canvas. These resources include prescribed text books, journal papers, and internet resources, as well as lectorial notes and other material provided through Canvas and 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 lectorials
Weighting 40%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 4

Assessment Task 2: Presentation
Weighting 15%
This assessment task supports CLOs 2, 3, 5

Assessment Task 3: Project proposal / Report
Weighting 45% 
This assessment supports CLOs 2,3,5