Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Supply and energy use of lignocellulosic biomass

Course number: 3513129, 6 ECTS, In Finnish: Lignoselluloosabiomassat ja niiden energiakäyttö



Course description

The course Supply and energy use of lignocellulosic biomass is part of the bioenergy module of the MSc studies of the School of Forest Sciences of the University of Eastern Finland. The course starts in the first semester, and it is complemented by the course Bioenergy markets and policy in the second semester, making together 12 ECTS. The course, under different names, dates back to 2009, coordinated by Paavo Pelkonen, and several instructors have been involved since then. The present form of the course started in 2015 and has been designed and coordinated by Blas Mola, as Senior Researcher in Bioenergy. The course reviews all aspects related to biomass production for energy from forest and agriculture sources, and its utilisation, particularly in the Nordic area. The course has special emphasis on engineering, biological processes, environmental and management aspects of the production and utilisation of biomass. It includes lectures and discussions, as well as independent and collaborative work on learning tasks at this Wiki learning environment.


Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

Explain the basis of biomass supply, energy production, engineering processes and technologies involved. 

Identify the main elements of the production aspects of various forms of biomass, including forest and agricultural residues, biomass plantations and peat. Supply, production, current use and utilization limitations, as well as the technologies related to energy production and conversion on a sustainable basis. 

Handle basic research tools concerning biomass supply and use, as well as the use of the different technologies associated with the management, harvesting, transport, conversion and energy production.


Essentials: Basic concepts of lignocellulosic biomass supply and production from managed forests, plantations and sources of different industrial by-products. Research and analysis tools for evaluation and estimation of existing biomass resources and potentials. Basics for analysis of harvesting and transportation logistics of energy wood. Complementary knowledge: Heat production technologies; introduction to bio-energy conversion technologies, with focus on thermal combustion and gasification.

Course responsible

Blas Mola, School of Forest Sciences, Borealis room 376, email address: blas.mola(at)




NOTE: Due to the present situation due to the covid-19 pandemic, this course is under full renovation to accommodate online-teaching. Since it is the first year this is intended, this will take some time and several changes are expected. Do not expect a full updated version of this web pages before the official start of the course. Thanks in advance.

The course starts on 11 NOV 2020 16:15h (Finnish time, EET)

We fully understand that it is not easy for everybody to join all the meetings. We made this schedule looking for a compromise with the already established time table of this course at weboodi, to avoid any overlapping with other courses. For any question or individual appointment, you can contact us by email.

Course zoom lectures:

under preparation

In addition, we will implement some voluntary mentoring system with those students already in Joensuu. Those students on Western Time Zones, please contact us.

Course structure

Theme 1

1.1 Introduction to Forest Biomass
Oil crisis – Wood-fuels in the past - Technology and efficiency

1.2 Biomass resources
Biomass feedstocks- bulk density – heating value – sources

1.3 Production and operations
Skidders, harvesters and forwarders – Forest machinery – Forest operations

1.4 Supply chains
Logistics – Moisture content – Spatial optimization

Theme 2

2.1 Biomass production systems
Rationale of energy crops - overview and limitations - current role

2.2 Energy crops and plantations
Wood plantations - reed canary grass - management details - production levels

2.3 Multi-functional systems
Environmental effects - phytoremediation - Enköping wastewater system

Theme 3

3.1 Methodological and technical approaches
local and global estimates - how much biomass? - review of estimates

3.2 Energy production
CHP - central district heating - domestic heating - pellets - estimating heat demand

3.3 Conversion processes
Technological approach - gasification - fluidized bed

Theme 4

4.1 Bioenergy in other economies (Asia)
Bioenergy outside Europe - China's renewable energy - potentials and limitations