Biochemical Engineering



Louise MeunierDupuis 211 louise.meunier@queensu.ca78048



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 include:

CLO1 Design culture medium based on nutritional requirements of microbial cells. KB-ES-Biochem (a)
CLO2 Specify design criteria for medium sterilization and solve problems involving both batch and continuous sterilization. KB-ES-Biochem (b)
CLO3 Apply the principles of microbial growth kinetics in bioreactors. KB-ES-Biochem (b)
KB-ES-Process (b)
CLO4 Simulate and evaluate bioreactor performance. KB-ES-Biochem (b)
KB-ES-TrPh (b) 
CLO5 Apply mass and heat transfer correlations to bioreactor design. KB-ES-Process (c)
KB-ES-TrPh (a) 
CLO6 Design a complete bioreactor based on targets, constraints and physical properties. DE-Solutions
CLO7 Identify suitable process instrumentation for monitoring and control of bioreactors.

KB-ES-Biochem (b)
KB-ES-TrPh (b)

CLO8 Know and select process unit operations for product recovery and purification.     KB-ES-Biochem (a)

This course develops the following attributes at the 3rd year level:

Knowledge base, Engineering Science (KB-ES): Biochem (a) Applies knowledge of cellular processes to engineering problems. Biochem (b) Applies foundations of science and engineering to analyze and solve biological, physiological, pharmaceutical, and/or environmental problems or processes. Process (b) Analyzes kinetic mechanisms, identifies rate limiting steps and develops expressions to describe reaction rates for non-catalytic, catalytic, or electrochemical processes. Process (c) Applies engineering principles to do engineering calculations and size various unit operations, including pumps, heat exchangers, separation processes, and reactors. TrPh (a) Formulates and applies integral mass, momentum and energy balances to do engineering calculations. TrPh (b) Formulates and applies differential mass, momentum and energy balances to do engineering calculations.

Problem Analysis (PA): Evaluate Analyze solutions to complex engineering problems to draw conclusions. Design (DE): Solutions Create a product, process or system to solve a problem, that meets specified needs, and subject to appropriate iterations. Assess Evaluate performance of a design, using criteria that incorporates specifications, limitations, assumptions, constraints, and other relevant factors.

Engineering Tools (ET): Apply Apply and manage appropriate techniques, apparatus, databases, models, tools, and/or processes to accomplish a task.

Communication Skills (CO): Written Produce clear, concise, precise and well-organized written communication with language appropriate for the audience.

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 and other fundamental biology courses. The concepts learned in this course are utilized in subsequent courses dealing with environmental and biochemical processes.

Course Structure and Activities

36 lecture hours + 12 tutorial hour per term. Please refer to SOLUS for times and locations. 


The following textbook is recommended for CHEE 380:  

Bioprocess Engineering: Basic Concepts, 3rd Edition. ML Shuler, F Kargi and M. DeLisa, 2017 (available at Queen’s campus bookstore, or may be purchased online; may also be consulted online through Queen’s Library – however only three simultaneous licences are available).  

The following textbooks are available at Stauffer Library on reserve – 3-hour loan:

  • Biochemical Engineering Fundamentals, JE Bailey, DF Ollis, 1986;  
  • Bioprocess Engineering: Basic Concepts, 2nd Edition. ML Shuler and F Kargi, 2002;  
  • Bioprocess Engineering Principles, PM Doran, 1995;  • Biochemical Engineering. HW Blanch, DS Clark, 1997.  

All course material is accessible through the course LMS.