Chemical Engineering


CHEE380 : Biochemical Engineering



Dr. Hala FamDupuis 214hala.fam@queensu.ca613-533-2779


Jesse HarrisChernoff 534jesse.harris@queensu.ca
Rachel VincentDupuis B27, desk #19rhv@queensu.ca
Nathan MullinsDupuis B27, desk #1816nrm1@queensu.ca

Course Description

Biochemical Engineering involves the application of Chemical Engineering principles and approaches to biologically-based systems and processes. Biochemical Engineering is central to the area of environmental engineering, and to biotechnology processes which produce pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals and genetically engineered products. The course involves a systematic and quantitative description of medium formulation and sterilization, microbial kinetics and bioreactor design, product isolation and purification, and examples of current industrial practices and processes (0/0/0/30/12).

Objectives and Outcomes

The objective of this course is to develop a systematic and quantitative description of medium formulation, medium and equipment sterilization, cell growth kinetics, bioreactor and bioprocess design, and product isolation and purification. Students will be introduced to several current biochemical engineering based processes.

Specific course learning outcomes (CLOs) include:

  1. Design culture medium based on nutritional requirements of microbial cells.
  2. Specify design criteria for medium sterilization and solve problems involving both batch and continuous sterilization.
  3. Apply the principles of microbial growth kinetics in bioreactors.
  4. Simulate and evaluate bioreactor performance.
  5. Apply mass and heat transfer correlations to bioreactor design.
  6. Design a complete bioreactor based on targets, constraints and physical properties.
  7. Identify suitable process instrumentation for monitoring and control of bioreactors.
  8. Knowledge and selection of process unit operations for product recovery and purification.

This course assesses the following attributes:

  • Knowledge base:
    KB-BIO-1 (CLO  1): Applies knowledge of cellular processes to engineering problems (CLO 1);
    KB-BIO-2 (CLO 1-4): Applies foundations of mathematics, science, and engineering in the biological setting ;
    KB-MT-3 (CLO 5): Solves problems involving convective mass transfer using appropriate correlations);
    KB-HT-3 (CLO 5): Solves problems involving convective heat transfer using appropriate correlations
    KB-RE-2 (CLO 4, 6): Identifies types of reactors and performs relevant calculations using material and energy balances.

  • Design (CLO 5-7):
    DE-3: Develops detailed specifications incorporating performance requirements, constraints and assumptions.

Relevance to the Program

CHEE 380 is a core course for Chemical Engineering students. It is an introductory course in Biochemical Engineering and builds upon principles of fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, heat and mass transfer (CHEE 223, 210, 330), and cell biology introduced in CHEE 229. The concepts learned in this course are utilized in subsequent courses dealing with environmental and biochemical processes.

Course Structure and Activities

3 lecture hours + 1 tutorial hour per week. Please refer to Solus for times and locations.


There is no textbook. The material covered in the course comes from several useful resources which are listed below:

Useful References:

Biochemical Engineering Fundamentals, JE Bailey, DF Ollis, 1986. (Available at Stauffer Library Reserve for 3 hour loan).

Bioprocess Engineering: Basic Concepts, 2nd Edition. ML Shuler and F Kargi, 2002. (Available at Stauffer Library Reserve for 3 hour loan).

Bioprocess Engineering Principles, PM Doran, 1995. (Available at Stauffer Library Reserve for 3 hour loan).

Biochemical Engineering. HW Blanch, DS Clark, 1997. (Available at Stauffer Library Reserve for 3 hour loan).

All course lecture slides, tutorials and problem sets will be posted on the onQ course website.