Scheda insegnamento


L'insegnamento contribuisce al perseguimento degli Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile dell'Agenda 2030 dell'ONU.

Acqua pulita e servizi igienico-sanitari Imprese innovazione e infrastrutture Lotta contro il cambiamento climatico La vita sott'acqua

Anno Accademico 2021/2022

Conoscenze e abilità da conseguire

This course aims to provide students with fundamental knowledge of applied biochemistry and microbiology, necessary to understand the role of biological agents in main industrial and environmental biotechnology processes.


Requirements/Prior knowledge

A prior knowledge and understanding of organic chemistry and microbiology is suggested to attend with profit this course.

This knowledge can be aquired through the Courses: "Organic Chemistry and Laboratory T", which is proposed at the first year of the First cycle degree/Bachelor in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at the University of Bologna (which also incluedes chemical laboratory experiences); and Biochemistry and Biotechnology for the Chemical Industry T", which is proposed at the second year of the same degree.

Fluent spoken and written English is a necessary pre-requisite: all lectures and tutorials will be in English

Course contents

Module 1 (3 CFU) - Fundamentals of Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology M

Cell types and major cell constituents. Enzymes and Nucleic acids: their structure and functions.

Metabolism of biogenic compounds. Anabolic and catabolic pathways.

Aerobic respiration of organic compounds: glycolysis, Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. Examples and main features of industrial and environmental relevant microorganisms respiring aerobically biogenic organic compounds.

Anaerobic metabolism of organic compounds: nitrate-reduction, Fe(III)-reduction, sulphate-reduction, HCO3— reduction (methanogenesis and acetogenesis).

Main features of major industrially and environmentally relevant microorganisms using such respiration routes.

Fermentation of carbohydrates and proteins: fermentation pathways of major relevance for industrial and environmental processes and main features of microorganisms responsible for them.

Anaerobic digestion of organic matter and biowaste and its industrial and environmental relevance.

Biotransformation pathways for inorganic compounds in aerobic habitats, such as nitrification, S° or S= -oxidation, Fe(II) oxidation, and main features of microorganisms responsible for them. Industrial bioleaching of metals.

Basics of CO2 autotrophic fixation and of anoxygenic and oxygenic photosynthesis.

The occurrence of the different microbes and microbial processes in the major aquatic and terrestrial natural habitats.

Major organic and inorganic xenobiotic pollutants entering the environment: their sources and fate in soils, sediments and waters. Microorganisms mainly involved in their biotransformation and detoxification, the biochemical-molecular basis associated with their adaptation to the pollutants and their potential industrial exploitation. Main biodegradation/detoxification pathways for aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, including chlorinated derivatives, in aerobic and anaerobic polluted environments. Basics on biotransformation on heavy metals in polluted sites.

Nutritional requirements of chemoorganotrophic industrial and environmental relevant micro-organisms and cultural media employed for their growth. Mixed cultures, co-cultures and pure (axenic) cultures and conventional and molecular procedures for their characterization and improvement. Conservation of microbial cultures.


Module 2 (6 CFU) - Advances in Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology M

Microbial growth under batch, fed-batch and continuous conditions and kinetics describing the processes. Physical and chemical agents affecting/controlling the microbial growth. Sterilization procedures adopted at the laboratory and industrial level.

White Biotechnology for the modern chemical, textile, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and bioenergy industry and multipurpose and integrated biomass and biowaste-based Biorefineries:

Basics, applications and environmental and economical implications.

Feed-stocks for white biotechnology processing: agricultural and forest biomass, and agro-food industry by-products, effluents, waste and surplus.

White biotechnology for the production of biofuels such as bioethanol (I and II generation), biomethane, biohydrogen and biodiesel from dedicated biomass and/or agrofood byproducts and wastes.

White biotechnology for the production of biobased fine-chemicals and materials via biomass and by-products/waste pre-treatment and enzymatic/microbial conversion of the obtained constituents.

Production of biopolymers and microbial polymers from biomass and/or agrofood industry byproducts and wastes.

Biorefineries in Europe: state-of-the-arts and trends.


Madigan M.T. Martinko J.M., Parker J. (2002) Brock: Biology of Microorganisms.10th Edition, Prentice Hall International, Inc . New Jersey, USA

Ratledge C., Kristiansen B. (2006) Basic Biotechnology, III Edition, Cambridge University Press, London

Glazer A.N., Nikaido H. (1997) Microbial Biotechnology- Fundamentals of Applied Microbiology. 2nd Edition. WH Freeman and Company, New York.

Ulber R., Sell D. (2007) White Biotechnology, Vol. 105 of the series Advances in Biochemical Engineering / Biotechnology, Springer, EU and USA.

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

Metodi didattici

class lectures

Modalità di verifica e valutazione dell'apprendimento

The exam consists in an oral interview in order to assess the methodological and critical skills acquired by the student. The student will be invited to discuss the topics covered during the lessons. The achievement of an organic vision of the issues addressed during the classes and their critical use, which demonstrate ownership of a mastery of expression and specific language, will be assessed with marks of excellence. Mechanical and / or mnemonic knowledge of matter, synthesis and analysis of non-articulating and / or correct language but not always appropriate will lead to discrete assessments; training gaps and / or inappropriate language - although in a context of minimal knowledge of the material - will lead to votes that will not exceed the sufficiency. Training gaps, inappropriate language, lack of guidance within the reference materials offered during the course will lead to failed assessments

Orario di ricevimento

Consulta il sito web di Fabio Fava

Consulta il sito web di Lorenzo Bertin