Systemic Engineering for Sustainability: Biodiesel and its byproducts as an example
TARGET AUDIENCE: Second to fourth year students.
Course will first set the premise of a need to study the entire energy cycle of a product system. Some examples will be utilized and students will interact to develop those examples.
If possible, a laboratory event will take place in which students will experience themselves the simplicity of making biodiesel.
Students will then interact in groups to evaluate and compare the petroleum to diesel energy and resource utilization cycle to the biodiesel cycle. Some detail will be focused on the biodiesel cycle as it will be assumed that more literature is available on the petroleum process. Reporting will be accomplished in one of the early sessions.
A study of input demands and output products will be the focus of the next session as well as estimation of calculation of the significance of differences in the process. Depending on the attendees, the class may divide into specific target project site to review optimization of natural products appropriate to specific environments.
At this point, the course participants will need to help determine the path of the course. Some participants may wish to create a process design for a specific region and others may wish to develop course materials toward developing sustainable engineering education at a university using biodiesel as a simple means for students to have “hands on” activities.
The objective will be that every attendee has participated in a team that has developed either an example of a sustainable biofuel generation facility for a location or a set of educational experiences that could be used in a university setting to enable students to participate in the development of such a facility.