This free course, Biofuels, investigates what is meant by a biofuel and covers the advantages of using biofuels compared with fossil fuels. The different types of biofuel are explored, with particular emphasis on transport biofuels. Finally, the issue of whether biofuels are the complete answer to our future energy needs is considered.
Course learning outcomes
After studying this course, you should be able to:
demonstrate general knowledge and understanding of some of the basic facts, language, concepts and principles relating to plants, in particular the composition and properties of plants and the different ways in which plant products have been utilised by humans
demonstrate an understanding of the contribution that science can make to informed debate on issues arising from the use of plants and the threats posed to plants and their habitats
make sense of information presented in different ways, including textual, numerical, graphical, multimedia and web-based material.
The basic biochemistry is interesting and useful. However, as others have also said in their reviews, it is now very out of date having been written in 2012 and updated in 2016. Attitudes have changed and in places this course reads like an apology for biofuels! The section on biodiversity (chapter 7) really does say that cutting down the amazon rainforest for agriculture has the "potential" for biodiversity reduction! Also that rainforests are "believed" to have a part in offsetting global warming. Neither statement would be supported in any up-to-date scientific publication and it is disappointing to find any course still presenting these positions.