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Biochemical Processing Overview

Biochemical engineering is the application of

chemical engineering principle to biological
system to

c) Understand, model, design and develop processes

for environmental remediation

e) To engineer improvements in pharmaceuticals

c) To work in other areas that combine biochemistry,

microbiology, and chemical engineering
Overview of industrial biochemical process
• To scale up a laboratory scale operation into a large
industrial process.
• For example, to cultivate cells in a lab scale of 100ml,
a small flask on a shaker can be an excellent way, but
for a large scale operation of 2000L we cannot make
the vessel bigger and shake it. We need to design an
effective bioreactor to cultivate the cell in the most
optimum conditions.
Chemical processes are eventually replaced by
biochemical processes due to the following
2. BC processes are cheap; naturally available materials can
be used as nutrients for microbes, e.g. agro waste
3. Require moderate operating conditions
Temp:25-40C pH-6-8
5. BC processes are very specific
6. BC Processes are very efficient; enzymatic reactions are
7. BC processes produce less toxic compounds than
conventional chemical processes
History of Biochemical Engineering
• Archaeological evidence shows that Egyptians has
started using yeast and other fermentative organisms
for wine and bread making during 1400B.C.
• Late in the 19th century the work of Pasteur and
Tyndall identified m.o. as the critical active agents in
fermentation practice.
• In 20th century Buchner, Neuberg and Weizmann led
to process for production of ethanol, glycerol and
other chemcials
• In 1940s development in biochemistry, microbial
genetics, and engineering marks the birth of
biochemical engineering
The Diverse Biochemical Process Industry
Choice of selecting unit operations
Industrial Biological Process
Points to consider in Down stream
• DSP begins with Raw Material Selection “Garbage in
means garbage out”
• There are trade offs, e.g. between purity and yield “No
Free lunch”
• Mass and Energy are conserved,
• There are impurities and contaminants
• You will be watched
• Regulation includes FDA, EPA and OSHA
• Design:
Target - the spec sheet
Path - the PFD
Measure – Analytical
• Murphy’s Law
• Contaminants- need control
• Lost Material – need robustness
Fermentation Process Development
Strategies for Media Design

• Selection of media from literature

• Analogy with medium for another organism
• Rationale design from cell and product needs and
process demands
• Experimental design

Who Should be involved in media design?

– Microbiologist
– Analytical Chemist
– Process Engineer
A systematic approach to media design

Fermentation process Nutritional requirement

objectives • Elemental requirements
• Cell mass vs. • Specific nutrients, e.g.
Product synthesis Vitamins, minerals, amino
acids, etc.
• Substrate allocation
• Energy requirements
Carbon source and Oxygen
• Physiological Model Growth
Product synthesis
Environmental requirements Techno-Economic Constraints

• pH profile – Cost

• Temperature profile – Material availability

• Dissolved oxygen profile – Product recovery

• Catabolite repression – Environmental impact

• Physiological constraints,
e.g. ionic strength, production
Fermentation Media
Overview of Media Desgin