Full course description

Course Date:

Sep 12 - Nov 7, 2016


8 weeks


5 hrs/week



Course Type:





This eight-week online course provides an overview of the economy surrounding biotechnology. As a participant, you’ll learn about biorefineries, nutrients, biopolymers, bioenergy, and the cycle that takes products from biomass to world markets.

Learning activities include online instructional videos, exercises, interesting guest speakers, and discussions that focus on the theory and practice of companies in the Dutch Delta working in this new economy. Additionally, you can participate in interactive case studies intended to challenge the shared brainpower of course participants.


Participants will gain a general understanding of the following themes and associated topics:

  • Biobased economy (biobased production chain; dedicated crops and biomass residuals)
  • Biobased energy (biomass input, processing, conversion; different units of energy)
  • Biorefinery (features and classification)
  • Biopolymers (types and biosources; properties for product development; biocomposites)
  • Natural compounds (metabolism; metabolic pathways; compound classes)
  • Nutrients (macro and micro nutrients; organic fertilizers)
  • Algae (production; production systems)
  • Sustainability and economics (climate; sustainability; forecast)

Course Instructors

Michiel Michels

Michiel Michels, PhD


Michiel is a senior lecturer and researcher at Avans University of Applied Sciences with a special focus on biobased chemistry. Research involves optimizing growth conditions in order to obtain biomass containing the desired bioproduct, biorefinery, nutrient recovery, and wastewater treatment.

Nathalie Luzardo

Nathalie Marquez Luzardo, PhD


Nathalie, also a senior lecturer and researcher at Avans University of Applied Sciences, has a technical background in Chemical Engineering. She has been involved in biobased research projects with a focus in techno-economic evaluation of biorefinery schemes and the upscaling of biorefinery processes.