Bioprocesses and downstream processing


Lecturer(s) :

Crelier Simon
Eyer Kurt
Zinn Manfred




This course aims at a more advanced coverage of the basic aspects discussed in module ChE-311. It is however of a stand-alone nature, and even students who have little knowledge on bioprocess development shall benefit as well from this module.


Manfred Zinn

Kurt Eyer

Simon Crelier


Bioprocess engineering: Basic function of a bioreactor, different types of bioreactors, agitation and oxygen transfer, upstream processing, sterilization techniques, bioprocess automation, PAT, Liebig's law, mass and energy balances, oxygen requirements, yield coefficients, growth kinetics, Monod kinetics, microbial growth on defined and complex media, substrate inhibition, feed strategies, product formation, high cell-density fed-batches, chemostat, nutrient limitation, wash-out, optimal productivity, scale-up.

Downstream processing: significance of DSP; chemical and biotechnological DSP;  purity; yield; (bio)activity retention; physical and thermal separations; equilibrium; kinetics, sedimentation; centrifugation; filtration; cake and filter resistance; cell lysis; high pressure homogenizator; bead mill;raffinate; extract; partition coefficient; equilibrium line; operating line; graphical solutions; ATPS; precipitation; precipitation agents; Cohn equation; adsorbent and adsorbate; adsorption isotherm; Langmuir; Freundlich; adsorption kinetics; breakthrough curve; ion exchange; hydrophobic interaction; affinity chromatography; SEC; van Deemter equation; cross-flow; membranes; transmembrane pressure; osmotic pressure; retention factor; molecular weight cut-off; downstream bottleneck; convection vs diffusion; monolith and membrane chromatography; single-use equipment; ABC approach.

Learning Prerequisites

Required courses

Since this lecture is open to students from various backgrounds, no course is required as a mandatory prerequisite.

Recommended courses

ChE-311 Biochemical Engineering

Phénomènes de transfert

Introduction au génie chimique I, II

Techniques de séparation I, II

Basic knowledge in microbiology, biochemistry and process engineering would constitute a helpful background (although not mandatory) for a better understanding and mastering of the material to be presented in this lecture (a short list of recommended readings can be made available if desired).

Important concepts to start the course

This course heavily relies on the basic concepts of process engineering, mass and heat transfer, equilibrium and kinetics.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the student must be able to:

Transversal skills

Teaching methods

The course will be held under the form of lectures also featuring the treatment of examples, the discussion of case studies and exercises.

Expected student activities

Regularly attending the course is the best way to achieve the learning goals with a minimal amount of personal work at home. The proposed exercises and case studies are integrated to the lectures. They illustrate and complete the theoretical aspects presented during the course, and playing an active part in their resolution will make the learning process more efficient.


Assessment methods

An examination will take place at the end of the semester. The exam will be written if 9 candidates or more have signed up, and oral otherwise.


Office hours No
Assistants No
Forum No
Others The three lecturers shall be available for enquiries or questions, be it per e-mail or telephone.



Ressources en bibliothèque

There is no manuscript for the course. However, all the material that is presented (copies of transparencies, additonal material, exercises and correction thereof) is available and can be downloaded from the Moodle platform.

In the programs

Reference week

Under construction
      Exercise, TP
      Project, other


  • Autumn semester
  • Winter sessions
  • Spring semester
  • Summer sessions
  • Lecture in French
  • Lecture in English
  • Lecture in German