73425 - Fundamentals of Biotechnology for the Chemical Industry T

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering (cod. 8887)

Learning outcomes

The course aims at providing students with fundamentals on industrial and environmental biotechnological processes of interest for the chemical industry.

Course contents

Requirements/Prior knowledge

A prior knowledge of biochemistry and microbiology useful to understand the role of biological agents in the main biotechnological processes of interest for the chemical industry is required to attend with profit this course.

This knowledge is acquired through the course Applied Biochemistry and Microbiology T (II year, I semester)

Fluent spoken and written Italian is a necessary pre-requisite: all lectures and tutorials, and all study material will be in Italian.

Course Contents

Introduction on biotechnology and its role in the modern chemical industry.

Scientific and technological aspects of biotechnological processes of industrial interest:

Strategies and operational steps associated with the development of an industrial biotechnology process: selection and improvement of the microbial strain; selection and preparation of the cultivation medium; preparation of the inoculum; selection of the reactor; sterilization of the reactor and the cultivation medium; conduction mode of the process (batch, fed-batch and continuous); recovery and purification of the product.

Techniques and strategies to intensify the process through the immobilization of the biocatalyst (enzyme and cells) and main applications of immobilized biological systems in the modern biotechnology industry.

Biochemical, microbiological and technological aspects associated with the production of yeast, microbial proteins, amino acids (L-glutamic acid, L-lysine), vitamins (B12, C), organic acids (citric, lactic), antibiotics (penicillins).

Main microbial enzymes of interest for the chemical and food industry (proteases, carbohydrases, lipases), their applications and production.

Scientific and technological aspects of biotechnological processes of environmental interest:

Main techniques for the ex-situ and in-situ bioremediation of contaminated soils and aquifers: microbiological and technological aspects.

Microbiological and technological aspects associated with the biological treatment of waste water of the chemical industry.


Glazer & Nikaido (2007) Microbial Biotechnology, WH Freeman and Company, New York.

Rittmann B.E., McCarty P.L. (2001) Environmental Biotechnology: principles and applications. McGraw-Hill Higher education, New York, USA

Teaching methods

Class lectures supported by powerpoint slides.

Assessment methods

Achievements will be assessed by means of a final written exam with open questions, through which the knowledge level acquired by the student on the topics covered in the class, his/her ability to present them clearly and with command of language and to discuss them critically will be evaluated.

Office hours

See the website of Giulio Zanaroli


Good health and well-being Responsible consumption and production

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.