Basic course in the structure, function and use of biopolymers.
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Content and learning outcomes
Acquire detailed knowledge of the structure, function, properties and use of biopolymers.
Molecular architecture for some biological structures such as wood, collagen, soft tissue, silk, wool, spider’s thread is emphasized.
The concept of nature as a model for polymeric materials is discussed.
The role of biocomposites is related to biological attacks on polymeric materials and degradation mechanisms of polymeric materials with respect to degradation products in different environments.
The discussion focuses on environmental issues when using biopolymers and synthetic polymers, specifically, various paths for recovery/reuse of plastics.
Intended learning outcomes
After finishing the course the student should be able to:
- Explain and evaluate biopolymer properties based on their structure (at atomic, nano-, micro- and macro-level) and give their chemical structure.
- Relate a specific biopolymer to biological structures in nature.
- Describe the process and explain alteration of the material properties and environmental effects of biodegradation.
- Identify and discuss current environmental issues with a focus on the material’s impact in relation to the sustainable development objectives set by the community.
- Suggest and discuss the choice of biopolymers vs. synthetic polymers suitable for common applications with respect to raw materials, energy aspects, material properties, function, environmental impact, waste management, ethical aspects and economy.
- In a project form, conduct a literature study and laboratory experiments to solve a scientific problem. Evaluate and discuss the results both orally and in a written report.
Literature and preparations
At least 150 credits from grades 1, 2 and 3 of which at least 110 credits from years 1 and 2, and bachelor's work must be completed, within a programme that includes: 50 university credits (hp) in chemistry or chemical engineering, 20 university credits (hp) in mathematics and in computer science or corresponding.
KF1010 Polymer Technology and Cellulose Technology
J. Vincent: Structural Biomaterials
M. Elices: Structural Biological Materials
Examination and completion
If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.
- LAB1 - Project Laboratory Work, 3.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
- TEN2 - Written exam, 4.5 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.
The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.
Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination
Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination
- All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
- In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
- In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.
Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.Course web KF2180
Main field of study
Chromatographic analysis – polymers/environment
Microbiology in polymer science
Will replace 3E1146
Project can be conducted in cooperation with KD2020 Organic and Biochemical Analytical Separations