Swayam Central

Biomass Characterization

By Dr. K. Arunkumar   |   Central University of Kerala
Intended learners: Post graduates who are studying programs such as environmental science, biology(botany, zoology), biochemistry, biotechnology, agriculture, forestry, chemistry and physics as well. And also for entrepreneurs and researchers who are interested in biomass energy production.  

Aim of this course: This course impart the skill and knowledge for converting various biomass feedstock into different energy forms.  

Scope of this course: There is an immense prospect in the biomass feedstocks to address the growing energy demands. However biomass recalcitrant that is not easy to break into simple sugars and varied physio-chemical attributes of biomass that is biomass growing at different regions, seasons and field conditions showing varied physio-chemical properties impede the biomass energy conversion process largely. Overall, this course provides overall information on concepts, tools and techniques for converting the different biomass into various energy forms for starting the biomass based energy production start-up.   

Prerequisites: Science graduates and other indented learners having basic knowledge and curiosity in science. 

Objectives of this course: 
Learners will understand the following:
1. Biomass resources 
2. Type of biomass and its recalcitrant  
3. Biomass sample preparation, methods of pre-treatments and characterization
4. Analyzing the biochemical and ultimate properties of biomass 
5. Methods of biomass energy conversion process 

Learners enrolled: 563


Course Status : Ongoing
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 15 weeks
Start Date : 06 Jan 2020
End Date : 18 Apr 2020
Exam Date : 10 May 2020
Enrollment Ends : 08 Mar 2020
Category :
  • Biological Sciences & Bioengineering
  • Level : Postgraduate


    Week 1
    Biomass as a Resource; Advantages of biomass energy among alternative sources; Opportunities and Challenges

    Week 2
    Forms of biomass – Solid ;Forms of biomass –Liquid; Forms of biomass –  Gas

    Week 3
    Biomass Properties; Biomass Recalcitrant; Lignin

    Week 4
    Lignin content in various biomass; Non-ligno Cellulosic Biomass(Algae) and microalgae cultivation;Macro algae(seaweed) cultivation

    Week 5
    Algal Biomass Processing ; Algal industrial polymers; Characterization of Biomass (Tools)-1

    Week 6
    Characterization of Biomass (Techniques)-2;Biomass Sample Preparation; Proximate Analysis of prepared biomass

    Week 7
    Ultimate Analysis of Prepared Biomass; Thermochemical Properties of Prepared Biomass; Surface area and particle size distribution analysis (Rheological Properties)

    Week 8
    Extrative Methods of Processing; Pre-treatment Method of Processing; Thermochemical Properties of Digested/ pre-treated biomass

    Week 9
    Biomass hydrolization; Biomass- Combustion; Biomass -Gasification

    Week 10
    Pyrolysis and Liquefaction ; Fermentation-1; Fermentation-2

    Week 11
    Bio-hydrogen; Bio-methane generation; Electricity production

    Week 12
    By-product utilization; Biomass storage simulation; Biomass-Experimental validation

    Week 13
    Process optimization

    Week 14
    Future directions on biomass energy

    Week 15
    Overall interactions with coordinator


    No specific reading material. 


    Dr. K. Arunkumar

    Central University of Kerala
    Dr. K. Arunkumar is a Professor and Head in the department of Plant Science, Central University of Kerala.
    He obtained graduate degrees in Botany (1989-1991) and M.Phil (1992) in Botany/Plant Physiology from Bharathidasan University, India. Arunkumar completed his Ph.D (1993-1997) at Centre for Advanced studies in Botany, University of Madras by availing CSIR Fellowship.

    After brief stints as a Plant physiology scientist (1997-1999) at Rubber Research Institute of India(Tura, Meghalaya), he took Assistant Professorship in the year 1999 and promoted as Associate Professor in the year 2011.

    His main interest has been in the field of diversity, biology and biochemistry of algae with special focus on bioactive compounds and biomass energy conversion. He has published over 50 research papers in journals indexed in Scopus, web of Science etc.,  like Renewable Energy; Biomass and bioenergy; biomass conversion and biorefinary; Algal Research; J. of Cleaner Production; Botanica Marina … and contributed 5 book chapters for Elsevier, Cambridge, CRC by receiving 5 extramural research projects with the grant of more than 76.3 lakhs.

    Presently operating DST-SERB project with the grant of 40 lakhs. He has organized three national conferences and attended/presented more than 70 national and international conferences in his 20 years of teaching and research experience. Besides teaching M.Sc program, he is also guiding scholars for Ph.D in plant science.


    Total Grades - 100 Marks:
    Internal Assessment - 30 Marks
    Final external proctored exam - 70 marks

    Internal assessments marks will be calculated as an aggregate of marks received at the end of module assessments for the whole course.
    Final exam will a computer-based test with 120 multiple choice questions.

    To receive a passing grades and course certificate, a student has to get 40% or above calculated as follows:
    Internal assessment: 40% of 30 marks = 12 marks or above
    Final exam: 40% of 70 marks = 28 marks or above