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Online Courses for Credit

If you’d like to explore the bioeconomy in more detail, we offer 3-credit courses for degree and non-degree seeking students through the Department of Forest Biomaterials at NC State. All courses listed here are offered asynchronously online, and some have in-person options as well. If you are interested in taking these credit-bearing courses, see the Department of Forest Biomaterials Distance Education courses, the NC State Course Catalog, or contact us for more information.

FB 480 / FB 580 The Sustainable Bioeconomy

Online only; Offered in Fall and Summer; GEP: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

The Sustainable Bioeconomy course examines the current and future opportunities and challenges of bioproducts and bioenergy in society. This course explores relationships between society’s economic demand for inexpensive energy and products and our responsibility to produce these products in environmentally and socially responsible ways. Students explore a range of bioproduct categories including biofuels, virgin and recycled paper and wood products, and advanced biomaterials. A panel of instructors from multiple disciplines and bioeconomy stakeholders will share their diverse perspectives and experiences in the bioeconomy. Students will learn about careers available in the growing bioeconomy sector and the knowledge and skills necessary for these jobs. This course is intended for students who are declared in a STEM major at an accredited institution.

PSE 295 / FB 595 Biomass Conversion

Online only; Offered in Spring Only

The term biomass encompasses any renewable, organic material of recent biological origin, such as trees, crops, agricultural and forestry residues, and municipal solid waste. The course will cover the fundamental concepts of industrial biomass conversion processes such as aerobic fermentation, anaerobic digestion, pyrolysis, and gasification. The course will require basic math and chemistry skills. You should expect this course to: Illuminate the current and emerging technologies for creating sustainable products from renewable biomass resources; Examine the basic chemistry of biomass resources and their conversion to valued products such as fuels, plastics, and fibers, to name a few; Introduce concepts critical to industrial process design, modeling, and techno-economic analysis; Highlight careers available in the growing bioeconomy sector and the knowledge and skills necessary for these jobs.

PSE 476 / FB 576 Environmental Life Cycle Analysis

Online and In-person; Offered in Fall Only

Overview of the various aspects of conducting and interpreting an environmental life cycle analysis on a product or service. Students will learn how to construct a life cycle analysis goal and scope, inventory, assessment and interpretation. Skills in the critique and communication of a life cycle analysis will be developed. Includes an overview of the following life cycle stages: raw materials, energy, transportation, production, use, and end of life. Emphasis on systems thinking. Targeted for students in any science or engineering program. Credit not allowed for both PSE 476 and WPS 576.

PSE 295 / FB 595 Strategic Business Analysis for the Bioeconomy

Online only; Offered in Fall Only

This course examines the evolution of the global bioeconomy and major drivers behind its growth while providing detailed business and financial training. By understanding the forces behind the growth of the bioeconomy, students can identify features in products and services that can potentially capture value (profit) in this sector. The course provides basic to complex conversion economics and financial concepts as well as business tools for non-financial trained students. At the end of the course, students will be capable of analyzing and screening opportunities for profit while promoting the adoption of bio-based products and thus meet the growing demand for sustainable goods.