Biomass and Wastes Valorisation


Acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies in the following areas: (1) Characterization of solid and liquid biomass and bio-wastes; (2) Thermal valorization of biomass and bio-wastes, by combustion, for the production of electric energy; (3) Thermochemical valorization of biomass and bio-wastes, by torrefaction, gasification and pyrolysis, for the production of synthesis gas, bio-oils and carbon materials; (4) Biological conversion for biomethane and biohydrogen from biomass and biowastes; (5) Valorization of macro and microalgae in the biorefinery concept.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Nuno Carlos Lapa dos Santos Nunes


Weekly - 4

Total - 70

Teaching language



Basic knowledge of chemistry and biology.


M. Bernardo, I. Matos, M. Ventura, R. Risso, J. Vital, N. Lapa, I. Fonseca (2019) Pyrolysis of waste materials. In) Waste-to-Energy, Chapter 15, E. Jacob-Lopes, L. Q. Zepka and M. I. Queiroz (ed.), Nova Science Publishers, New York, 281-308. (ISBN ebook: 978-1-53614-432-1)

N. Lapa, E. Surra, I.A.A.C. Esteves, R.P.P.L. Ribeiro, J.P.B. Mota (2017) Production of Biogas and BioH2 – Biochemical Methods. In) Biofuels Production and Processing Technology, Chapter 15, M.R. Riazi and D. Chiaramonti (ed.), CRC Press - Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, USA, pp. 415-460. DOI: 10.1201/9781315155067 (ISBN ebook: 9781315155067)

M. Manuela da Fonseca e José A. Teixeira (2007) Reactores biológicos: Fundamentos e aplicações. Lidel, 483 pp. (ISBN-10: 972-757-366-5; ISBN-13: 978-972-757-366-0)

Ralph E. H. Sims (2002) The brilliance of bioenergy: in business and in practice. James & James (Science Publishers) Ltd, 316 pp. (ISBN: 1 902916 28 X)

Teaching method

Theoretical classes, in a classroom, with critical analysis, in the form of debates, of the syllabus.

Theoretical-Practical Classes, in a classroom, to carry out two team works.

Teaching supported by a webpage on the Moodle@FCT platform where the students can find all the teaching materials ("slides" of the classes; individual theoretical activities; team works; videos; support texts; "online" tests).

Classes are taught in Portuguese if all students master the Portuguese language.

If there are ERASMUS students who do not speak Portuguese, classes will be held in English. Not all the teaching materials are already translated into English.

Evaluation method

Two theoretical tests (TT1 and TT2) and two theoretical-practical teamworks (TTP1 and TTP2).

The theoretical classification (CT) is calculated as follows:

CT = 0.50 * TT1 + 0.50 * TT2

The theoretical-practical classification (CTP) is calculated as follows:

CTP = 0.50 * TTP1 + 0.50 * TTP2

The final classification (CF) is calculated as follows:

CF = 0.60 * CT + 0.40 * CTP

The student obtains approval in the course if CF ≥ 9.50 values ​​(out of 20 values). The student does not obtain approval in the UC if CF < 9.50 values ​​(out of 20 values).

The Appeal Exam is mandatory for students who:

a) Did not obtain a classification of 9.50 values ​​(out of 20 values) in the average of the theoretical tests TT1 and TT2;

b) Did not perform the theoretical tests.

Only students who completed the two theoretical-practical assignments (TTP1 and TTP2) and obtained a minimum grade of 9.50 values (out of 20) on the average of these assignments can access the appeal exam.

Students who want to improve their final grades can also take the appeal exam. In this case, the students will try to improve the average of the classification obtained in the theoretical tests (CT). The classifications of theoretical-practical team works (CTP) do not undergo any change with the completion of the appeal exam.

Subject matter

1. Characterization parameters of biomass and solid and liquid bio-residues. Important units.

2. Physical-chemical properties of biomass and solid and liquid bio-residues.

3. Thermal conversion by combustion.

4. Thermochemical conversion by torrefaction, gasification, and pyrolysis.

5. Valorization of carbon materials.

6. Anaerobic digestion for biomethane production. Case studies.

7. Dark fermentation for biohydrogen production. Case studies.

8. Macro and microalgae from a biorefinery perspective. Case studies.