Residues Conversion Technologies in Agro-Industry


a) To identify and characterize the solid agricultural wastes that allow producing biofuels, chemical compounds, and activated carbon

b) To know the different technologies used in the conversion of biomass (pyrolysis, gasification, liquefaction, and hydrolysis) allowing a sustainable production of liquid biofuels and other chemical compounds of high added value, such as the activated carbon

c) To know the production processes and characterization methods of activated carbon

d) To know the biochemical processes for biomass conversion

e) To know the technologies used for the production of energy by using biomass as feedstock

f) To recognize the impact on the economy and environment dealing with the biomass conversion

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Isabel Maria de Figueiredo Ligeiro da Fonseca, Nuno Carlos Lapa dos Santos Nunes


Weekly - 4

Total - 56

Teaching language



No requirement is requested.


Plant biomass conversion, Elizabeth E. Hood, Peter Nelson, Randall Powell, John Wiley & Sons Inc,2011.

Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass to Liquid Fuels and Chemicals, Edited by Mark Crocker, RSC publishing, 2010.

Biorefineries for Biomass upgrading facilities, Ayahan Dermibas, Springer, 2010.

Biomass to Biofuels: Strategies for Global Industries, Edited by Alai. A. Vertes, Nasib Qureshi, Hans P. Blaschek, Hideaki Yukawa, John Wiley, 2010.

Teaching method

The course comprises weekly theoretical (T), theoretical-practical (TP), and laboratory (practical) (P) classes.

T classes are taught using oral presentation and audiovisual materials.

TP classes are used to present the practical works and to treat the experimental results obtained.

P classes include the selection of an agro-industrial waste (eg fruit stone) and the preparation of activated carbon, by chemical or physical activation. These adsorbents are characterized by nitrogen adsorption, elemental analysis, and mass titration (PZC). These carbons are later used as adsorbents for the removal of pharmaceutical compounds present in wastewater.

A technical visit will be carried out.

The evaluation is continuous with 2 theoretical tests being carried out and the discussion of the experimental work report.

Students will be approved if they have a final grade of 9.5 in the set of T and P components.

Classes are taught in Portuguese whenever students speak this language.

Whenever there are students who do not speak Portuguese, classes are taught in English.

Evaluation method

Continuous evaluation across the school semester composed by:

a) Two theoretical tests (weight in the final score: 60%)

b) One written report and discussion of the practical work (weight in the final score: 20% + 20%)

Subject matter

1. Principles of Green Chemistry.

2. Agricultural and agro-industrial wastes.

3. Properties and pre-treatments.

4. Thermochemical and hydrolytic processes of biomass transformation: Carbonization; Gasification; Pyrolysis; Fisher Tropsh Synthesis; Liquefaction.

5. Processes for obtaining activated carbon by chemical and physical activation. Characterization of activated carbon and its applications.

6. Processes of biomass hydrolysis. Enzymatic hydrolysis of biomass.

7. Design of catalysts for catalytic conversion of biomass. Carbohydrate catalytic conversion. Processes for converting biomass into green chemical compounds.

8. Technologies used in the production of ethanol, hydrogen, and biomethane from biomass conversion. Production of energy. Bioeconomy. Market opportunities.

9. Biorefineries.


Programs where the course is taught: