Biochemical Engineering



Louise Meunier305louise.meunier@queensu.ca78048


Yazan BdourDupuis

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.

The specific course learning outcomes (CLOs) include for the student to:

  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. Know and select process unit operations for product recovery and purification.

This course assesses the following attributes:

Knowledge base for engineering (CLO 1‐4):

  • Applies knowledge of cellular processes to engineering problems (KB‐BIO‐1);
  • Applies foundations of mathematics, science, and engineering in the biological setting (KB‐BIO‐2);
  • Solves problems involving convective mass transfer using appropriate correlations (KB‐MT‐3);
  • Solves problems involving convective heat transfer using appropriate correlations (KB‐HT‐3).

Design (CLO 5‐8):

  • Develops detailed specifications incorporating performance requirements, constraints and assumptions (DE‐3).

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. Refer to Queen’s online tools for schedule and location.


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; this textbook may also be consulted online through Queen’s Library – however the library only holds three simultaneous licences).

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 materials (e.g. class notes; tutorials; assignments; problem sets; handouts, etc.) are available on the LMS. If you are registered for the course, you can access this information through Queen’s online system.

TAs and instructor are available for consultation on an open‐door policy (appointment by e‐mail is recommended). If you have any questions, seek help from your study group and TAs first!