Education on biofuels technology in chemical engineering

Peter He, Jin Wang, Rong Walburn, and Donald R. Johnson. 2013.

Type Conference Paper
Author Peter He
Author Jin Wang
Author Rong Walburn
Author Donald R. Johnson
URL http://www.huichawaii.org/assets/et_he_peter_qinghua_2013.pdf
Place Honolulu, Hawaii
Date June 10, 2013
Accessed 11/3/2014, 7:00:00 PM
Conference Name 2013 Hawaii University International Conferences
Abstract There are very limited biofuels courses or programs devoted to engineering undergraduate education. Contrary to the lack of efforts in undergraduate biofuels education, there are enormous specialized research centers on biofuels technologies established in the past few years, especially in the chemical engineering field. These research centers mainly focus on advanced research and graduate/post-graduate education in engineering. The research results generated from these centers are usually published on scientific journals, which involve high levels of technical knowledge and complexities that only specialized scientists can understand. As a result, the available biofuels educational materials are quite dispersed and no single comprehensive literature source on biofuels processes exists that is suitable for engineering undergraduate education. Consequently, there is a significant gap between advanced biofuels research and undergraduate biofuels education in engineering. In this work, we will first discuss the need of biofuels education in engineering and the gap between advanced biofuels research and undergraduate biofuels education. Then we will talk about why among different engineering majors, chemical engineering is in a unique position to address this educational need. Existing efforts will be reviewed and their drawbacks will be discussed. Finally we will present our proposed solutions that address different learning styles. We will also discuss how the proposed solutions enhance students’ active learning and engagement.

Keywords:

  • Biofuels
  • Biomass
  • Chemical engineering
  • Education

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