Biomass refining

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Foreign:$ 16 k / Year(s) Deadline: Jan 25, 2024
201–250 place StudyQA ranking:2274 Duration:2 years

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The School of Chemical Technology combines natural sciences and engineering in a unique way. This allows the results of our research to be refined a long way and put into practice as ready products and processes. Each innovation secures both our renewable and non-renewable natural resources for the future.

The School provides education for a wide range of responsible future professionals. M.Sc. and Ph.D. graduates in technology work in diverse positions in Finland's largest industrial sectors, in the metal and electronics industry, wood processing industries as well as chemical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and food industries. The research and teaching are supported by an extensive international academic and industrial cooperation network.

Biomass Refining - Making bioeconomy real

Biomass refining constitutes the sustainable processing of biomass into a spectrum of marketable products and energy. The key technological contents of the major is treatment of biomass with tailored mechanical, chemical, biochemical and thermochemical processes leading to selective and efficient fractionation of the biomass components into functional fractions, and further refining of the fractions to fibres, polymers, chemical compounds and fuels or their reactants. The focus point of the major is the physiological function and structure of plants as well as the reactivity of the chemical components of lignocellulosic biomass in the conversion processes. Great attention is paid to process integration modelling, taking into account recycling and waste management. This includes the development of an integrated, rational and transparent evaluation framework for sustainable assessments, such as Life Cycle Assessments (LCA).

The major Biomass Refining applies knowledge of the fields of biotechnology, chemistry, and process technology.

Biomass Refining specific criteria for academic evaluation

1. Content of the previous degree
B.Sc. or equivalent degree in the natural sciences or engineering of a relevant field. Relevant degrees are e.g. in the fields of chemistry, biotechnology or chemical engineering or its subfields, such as process systems engineering, polymer engineering, food engineering or pulp and paper engineering.

 The major applies chemical engineering, biotechnology and chemistry in processing of biomass and therefore adequate knowledge and skills in chemistry are a mandatory prerequisite for the studies.

This Master’s programme should provide genuinely new knowledge and enhance the career prospects of the applicant. Thus, applicants who already have a Master’s degree in the closely related field will only be accepted onto the programme for very specific reasons. These reasons must be stated in the application.

 2. Study success
The applicant's success in previous studies (those that give basis for applying into the programme) will be evaluated based on the grade point average (GPA) and results in key courses. Preference is given to students with a GPA average equivalent to minimum of 3.0 (on a scale 1.0-5.0).

The time taken to complete previous studies will also be taken into account. Applicants, who have previously studied at Aalto University, e.g. as exchange students, will also be evaluated according to the grades in those studies and the number of credits obtained in comparison to the time taken for completion.

 3. Recognition and quality of the home university
The applicant's previous degree will be evaluated based on the recognition and quality of the university.

 4. Motivation and commitment
The applicant must demonstrate genuine motivation to study the chosen field and be committed to full-time studies with a plan to complete the Master's degree in two years’ time. The applicant is required to inform if applicant has a study right to another master or doctoral programme.

 5. Other relevant achievements
The applicant's other relevant achievements may be considered if documented in the application.

These can be, for example:
- experience of work in the field of the programme
-participation in scientific research which has led to publications, posters
- for applicants whose Bachelor's degree is from a Finnish university of applied sciences, prior completion of required complementary studies with good grades (transcript required)
- other previous studies (transcript required)

 6. Recommendation letters

Max. two recommendation letters can be attached to the application. Recommendation letter should be in English written by professor. It can be original letter or certified copy of it.

7. Language proficiency
The applicant must meet the mandatory language requirements of Aalto university. Student must be able to demonstrate that he/she is able to effectively use English as a working language. The studies are conducted fully in English.


Required application documents

In addition to the compulsory documents, applicants to the programme are also requested to provide the following documents:

  • Copies of relevant work certificates
  • Original or certified copies of recommendation letter/letters
  • Information about publications or posters
  • Transcript of other previous studies

All enquiries regarding admission, admission documents and language tests should be sent to

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