Membrane Contactors and Bioreactors


  1. To acquire general concepts about Membrane Contactors and Bioreactors
  2. To be able to design Membrane Bioreactors and Membrane Contactors
  3. To be able to design process integration schemes
  4. To acquire knowledge about emerging process monitoring tools and their use for process control
  5. Understand how a specific problem may be approached by the Industry

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Isabel Maria Rola Coelhoso


Weekly - 6

Total - 57

Teaching language



Available soon


Bailey JE, Ollis DF. Biochemical Engineering Fundamentals. 2nd ed. McGraw-Hill, New York, 1986.

   Nielsen J, Villadsen J, Lidén G. Bioreaction Engineering Principles. 2nd ed. Kluver Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York, 2003.

 Judd S. The MBR Book: Principles and Applications of Membrane Bioreactors in Water and Wastewater Treatment. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2006.

A. Gabelman, S. Hwang, Hollow fiber membrane contactors Journal of Membrane Science 159 (1999) 61-106.

Teaching method

Theoretical  classes are lectured using slides with  the contents lectured . The problems classes involve the resolution of questions regarding the issues lectured.   Seminars and visits to laboratories and/or companies are organized. 

Evaluation method

The evaluation includes:

  1. Scientific research project and corresponding report and discussion – individual
  2. Engineering project with report and oral presentation and discussion - group of 3 students.
  3. Tests (2) - individual

The final grade is composed by 25% of the grade obtained in the research project +25% of the grade obtained in the engineering project +50% of the grade obtained in the tests (average value of the two tests).

In each component of the evaluation the grade has to be >=9.5, in a scale 0-20. 

Subject matter


Fundamentals on Cell growth and metabolism

Production of bioproducts

Synthesis of biological macromolecules

Substrate transport mechanisms

Primary metabolism

 Cell growth kinetics – batch growth

 Maintenance metabolism

  Kinetics of product formation

   Elemental composition of biomass (stoichiometry and elemental balances)

   Reaction rates and yield coefficients

Kinetics for a steady-state CSTR   

 Enzymatic Bioreactors

 Cell Membrane bioreactors

Pressure driven Cell Membrane bioreactors

 Configuration of reactors, membranes and different biology; Operating parameters

  Fouling formation, anti-fouling strategies and monitoring techniques

    MBR applications: case studies

 Membrane contactors: fundamentals and applications. Stability, operation mode and membrane selection.

 Membrane contactors: equipment design. Mass transfer correlations.

 Unit operations in membrane contactors:  Liquid –liquid extraction and                                     Gas-liquid absorption;   OD and MD; Crystallization and                                       Emulsification

Hybrid Processes

 Monitoring and Modelling

          Modelling as a monitoring tool

          Metabolic modelling

          Non-parametric Modelling


Programs where the course is taught: