Design Report Guidelines ( PDF )

The report will be based on an example of a biocatalytic process developed and/or implemented commercially in industry. You will be assigned a bioconversion and given the appropriate journal reference(s) to obtain information about that reaction. You are to retrieve and read the reference(s), and write a report that answers the following questions:

  • What is the product?
  • What is the usefulness/commercial relevance of the product (eg, pharmaceutical intermediate, specialty chemical, fragrance, flavor, etc)?
  • What is the bio/chemical reaction by which the product is made?
  • What enzyme/organism was used as the biocatalyst and how was it selected? For a purified enzyme process, include the source organism for the enzyme.
  • Draw a flow diagram of the process employed, with a brief description of the operating protocol. All diagrams should include the reaction stage, indicating all flow streams. If a description of the isolation methods is given, this should be included in the diagram.
  • What was the final titer (product concentration), yield, enantiomeric excess, selectivity, etc. of the process?
  • What were the particular biological issues faced in developing the process (eg, narrow pH window, low activity/turnover, protein instability, etc)?
  • What were the engineering issues faced in developing the process (eg, low substrate aqueous solubility, low product aqueous solubility)?
  • What were the engineering and/or biological solutions employed to address these issues?
  • If there were no biological solutions employed, describe how one problem faced could be/have been solved by enzyme engineering. Provide a brief description of how this solution could be implemented.
  • The report should be 5-7 pages of text in total, with 12-pt double-spaced font (similar to Times as given here), and 1 inch margins all around. The flow diagram should encompass an additional page. You will need to submit TWO copies of your final report.

IN ADDITION, you should prepare 5 PowerPoint slides summarizing your report. An electronic copy should be sent by Session 18, and paper copies should be submitted with your report (two copies). Several students will be selected at random to give a presentation in class on Session 18. ALL students will be graded on the quality of the summary slides; however, the oral presentation will not be taken into account for the final grade. The five slides should cover: (1) summary of the chemistry and enzyme employed, (2) process flow diagram, (3) performance specs [titer, yield, conversion, EE, etc.], (4) biological problems and solutions, (5) engineering problems and solutions.

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