Biochemical Engineering I


The main purpose of this course is to stimulate in the students the ability to understand and develop processes where the reaction rate is controlled by biochemical kinetics. The learned concepts will enable the students to develop, design and operate industrial biotechnology based processes.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria Ascenção Carvalho Fernandes Miranda Reis


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Available soon


1 - Bailey, J.E. and Ollis, D.F. (1986). Biochemical Engineering Fundamentals. McGraw-Hill, New York, USA.


2 - Blanch, H.W. and Clarck, D.S. (1996). Biochemical Engineering. Marcel Dekker, Inc. New York, USA.


3 - Nielsen, J. and Villadsen, J. (1994). Bioreaction Engineering Principles. Plenum Press. New York, USA.


4 - Doran, P.M. (1995) Bioprocess Engineering Principles, Academic press, London

Teaching method

Theoretical classes, problem resolution classes and one experimental work.Visit to an industrial or pilot plant of an biotechnology based process.

Evaluation method

 Approval on EBI for continuous evaluation requires the following 3 criteria

  1- The arithmetic mean of the 2 midterm examinations have to be higher or equal to 9,5

  2-  Lab work,  report editing and discussion

   3-  The final mark is weighted as : 60% of the 3 midterm examinations + 40% lab work and  have to be higher or equal to 9,5

  Approval on EBI for continuous evaluation requires the following criteria

 1- The exam mark has to be higher or equal to 9,5

 2- Lab work,  report editing and discussion

 3- The final mark is weighted as : 60% of  exam + 40% lab work- and  have to be higher or equal to 9,5




Subject matter

I- Bioreactor analysis and operation

1.1-           Determination of stoichiometric and kinetic parameters.1.1.1-     Stoichiometry coefficients for cell growth and product formation (elemental and electron balances, biomass yield and oxygen demand)1.1.2-     Microbial growth kinetics; 1.1.3-     Product formation and substrate consumption;1.2-           Batch reactor, stirred tank reactor (CSTR), fed-batch and plug flow (PFR)1.2.1-     Material balances;1.2.2-     Steady state reactor operation;1.2.3-     Design and optimization of reactor operation; 

II- Mass transfer in aerated bioreactors

2.1-           Principles of gas-liquid mass transfer;2.2-           Material balances in aerated bioreactors; 2.3-           Type of aerated bioreactors;2.3.1- Bubble columns2.3.2-Mechanical agitated bioreactors;2.4-           Determination of hold up and interfacial area;2.5-           Experimental determination of gas-liquid transfer coefficient; use of correlations. 

III- Heat transfer in bioreactors

3.1-      Heat balances and determination of heat transfer coefficient;3.2-           Media sterilization. Batch and continuous sterilization. 

IV- Examples of Industrial bioprocesses

4.1- Production of antibiotics, alcoholic fermentation and production of methane.