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The Global Relevance Of Bio Based Industries To Engineering And Technology Education

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Global Engineering in an Interconnected World

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1294.1 - 11.1294.14



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Paper Authors


Kurt Rosentrater USDA-ARS

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KURT A ROSENTRATER is a Lead Scientist with the United States Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service, as well as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, South Dakota State University, in Brookings, SD, where he is spearheading a new initiative to develop value-added uses for residue streams resulting from biofuel manufacturing operations. He is formerly an Assistant Professor at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL, in the Department of Technology.

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Radha Balamuralikrishna Northern Illinois University

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RADHA BALAMURALIKRISHNA has an educational background in engineering, industrial education, and business administration. He is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Illinois. He received the Faculty of the Year award in 2000 sponsored by the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology. His primary areas of expertise are computer-aided design and process improvement methodologies.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract



The society in which we live has developed an insatiable demand for energy and material goods. In particular, recent data reveals that the aggressive pursuit of improved standards of living in the highly populated countries of India and China has contributed to increased demand for fossil fuels, which has exacerbated the recent spike in energy costs. Historically, these needs have been met primarily by fossil fuels and other non-renewable raw materials. As environmental concerns grow, however, renewable resources are gaining increased attention. This paper examines the emergence and importance that bio-based industries are increasingly beginning to play. A bio-based enterprise, similar in concept to a traditional refinery or factory, utilizes conversion technologies to produce various products. Bio-based refining and manufacturing operations are rapidly increasing both in number as well as in capacity throughout this country, and are poised to add significantly to the nation’s energy and material supplies in coming years. Therefore, to adequately prepare engineering and technology graduates for the opportunities presented by bio-based industries, it is vital for these graduates to understand this developing industrial segment and its fundamental concepts. Toward this end, this paper will discuss several essential topics, including national production and consumption information for chemicals, fuels, and manufactured products; production data, trends, and growth potential for bio-based industries; similarities between traditional refining and manufacturing industries to bio-based industries; tools essential for success, including quality improvement, management, and business productivity tools; relevance to engineering and technology education; and curriculum modification and incorporation techniques that can be used to achieve these efforts. The trends discussed here and their implications are critical for educators, because in coming years these industries will be used to simultaneously meet the needs of our society as well as that of environmental stewardship.

Keywords Biochemicals, Biofuels, Biomass, Bioprocessing, Biopower, Bioproducts, Biorefining, Curriculum Development


Successful manufacturing and industrial enterprises often have a history of adapting to change as markets, and the forces that drive them, dynamically shift over time. The importance of flexibility and openness to change has been emphasized repeatedly if companies are going to succeed and grow, especially when faced with difficult choices of how best to adapt, and inevitably alter business practices, strategies, resources, facilities, locations, or even labor practices. Thus national, and increasingly global, changes can present many opportunities and challenges for both employers and employees.

Rosentrater, K., & Balamuralikrishna, R. (2006, June), The Global Relevance Of Bio Based Industries To Engineering And Technology Education Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--812

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