2018 Biochemical Engineering

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Life Science and Technology
Tanji Yasunori  Ueda Hiroshi  Hirasawa Takashi 
Class Format
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue3-4(H135)  Fri3-4(H135)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
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Course description and aims

Biochemical engineering is a branch of engineering whose objective is to utilize living organisms or biological functions for the production or transformation of organic materials. Biological functions of enzymes and microbes and furthermore of animal and plant cells and microbes produced by molecular breeding are used. Topics covered in this course include the following: basic chemical engineering to gain grounding in the fundamental knowledge of biochemical engineering, fluid engineering, transport phenomena, reaction engineering, stoichiometry, design and operation of bioreactors, and bioseparation of the products made from bioreactors.
This course provides a comprehensive view of bioprocessing, and follows a logical progression starting from the structural aspect of a bioprocess. Next, different types and characteristics of biocatalysts are explained, together with the homogeneity and heterogeneity between chemical and biochemical reactions. In order to produce biomaterials through biocatalysis, a quantitative look into enzymatic reactions and cell growth is essential, and the course shows how the study into the stoichiometry and kinetics of biocatalysis may be used for this purpose. A bioreactor is the vessel in which biocatalysis is carried out. Immobilization of enzymes and the design and operation of bioreactors that make use of immobilized enzymes are taught. The course concludes by discussing the final stage of the bioprocess: the separation of products formed in bioreactors. Various kinds of bioseparators and the method of designing them are taught.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1. Understand the basic concepts of transport phenomena, mass transfer, and kinetics
2. Show knowledge of the classification, characteristics, and industrial use of organisms
3. Analyze the structure and functions of enzymes and the rate of enzymatic reactions
4. Design bioreactors based on their understanding of the features of bioreactors
5. Operate bioreactors and become familiar with the operating guidelines
6. Separate and purify bioproducts based on a good understanding of the bioseparation process


Material balance, Energy balance, Flux, Fluid engineering, Enzymes, Enzyme kinetics, Stoichiometry, Metabolism, Bioreactors, Bioseparation.

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

In the first half of the class, a summary of the previous lecture followed by the main points of the day’s lecture posed as questions are given. In the latter half, these main points are discussed in detail. Students are asked to provide solutions to some of the questions that have been posed as necessary. Always check the required learning for each class and be sure to complete them as part of preparation and review.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 The three stages of bioprocessing: the roles and functions of upstream, midstream, and downstream processing. Read the introductory chapter of the textbook. Students must be able to present their knowledge on the historical and industrial significance of biochemical engineering.
Class 2 Basics of chemical engineering (transport phenomena): basic and derived units, material and energy balance, and material and energy flux. Students must be able to express derived units using basic units.
Class 3 Basics of chemical engineering (fluid engineering): viscosity of fluid, laminar flow and turbulent flow, Bernoulli's equation and its application. Solve the problems on fluid engineering handed out in class.
Class 4 Metabolism and biocatalysts: classification and characteristics of organisms, and composition of cells. Students must be able to select a suitable biocatalyst for bioproduction based on its conditions.
Class 5 Metabolism and biocatalysts: enzymes, coenzymes, central dogma, bacteria, animal cells, plant cells, and conventional breeding and molecular breeding. Understanding of molecular breeding is required. Students must be able to explain the importance of social acceptance of this technology.
Class 6 Stoichiometry of bioengineering: stoichiometry of material and energy. Students should become familiar with the practical applications of the various kinds of balance and stoichiometric analysis.
Class 7 Reaction engineering of enzymes: the Michaelis-Menten equation, dynamics of enzymatic reaction and derivation of reaction parameters, kinetics of enzyme inhibitors. Students must be able to derive the Michaelis-Menten equation.
Class 8 Review of the first half of the course (classes 1–7) and midterm exam. Revise what was taught during classes 1-7 to prepare for the exam.
Class 9 Kinetics of cell growth: the Monod equation, growth rate, substrate consumption rate, and production rate of metabolites. Gain understanding of the interrelationship between growth rate, substrate consumption rate, and the production rate.
Class 10 Classification and characteristics of bioreactors: batch, continuous, and fed-batch operation. Students must gain understanding of the three types of bioreactors, and be able to use this knowledge for their own design.
Class 11 Basic designs of bioreactors: batch bioreactors, continuous bioreactors, and fermentors. Students must be able to derive important parameters for the design of bioreactors.
Class 12 Immobilization of biocatalysts: methods of immobilization, reaction engineering and the effectiveness factor of immobilized enzymes. Understanding the merits and demerits of immobilization is a must. Students must also be able to derive the effectiveness factor.
Class 13 Operation of bioreactors: sterilization, aeration, volumetric transfer coefficient (kLa), and agitation. Students must be able to design a pasteurizer based on the kinetics of cell death.
Class 14 Bioseparations principles: terminal velocity, centrifugal separation, sedimentation coefficient, Ruth equation of filtration. Students must be able to apply the settling concepts for the design of centrifugal separators.
Class 15 Bioseparations operations: sedimentation, filtration, adsorption, membrane separation, extraction. Students must understand the principles and operations of bioseparators, and must be capable of designing a basic bioseparator.


Tanji, Yasunori, et al. Biochemical Engineering. 3rd edition. Kodansha Scientific. ISBN978-4-06-139831-3 C3345. (In Japanese)

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Handouts will be distributed at the beginning of class when necessary and elaborated on using PowerPoint slides. PowerPoint documents that are to be used in class will be made available in advance via the OCW system. Students are expected to use these documents for preparation and review purposes.

Assessment criteria and methods

Midterm exam: 50%, final exam: 50%

Related courses

  • LST.A336 : Genetic Engineering
  • LST.A363 : Environmental Bioengineering
  • LST.A352 : Cell Engineering
  • LST.A345 : Microbiology

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Students must have successfully completed Physical Chemistry 1, and Physical Chemistry 2, or have equivalent knowledge.

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