Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 18 sessions / 5 weeks, 1 hour / session


This course is intended to provide a brief introduction to the field of biocatalysis in the context of process design. We will cover the “basics,” including why/when one may choose to use biological systems for chemical conversion, considerations for using free enzymes versus whole cells, and issues related to design and development of bioconversion processes. We will discuss biological and engineering problems and how one may arrive at both biological and engineering solutions.


There is no required textbook for this course. Handouts will be distributed in class to use as reference material. We will also use published articles from peer-reviewed scientific literature. You may find the following texts to be useful as additional resources:

  • Fogler, H. Scott. Elements of Chemical Reaction Engineering. 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall PTR, 1998. ISBN: 9780135317082.

  • Blanch, Harvey W., and Douglas S. Clark. Biochemical Engineering. New York, N.Y.: M. Dekker, 1995. ISBN: 9780824789497.

  • Bailey, James E., and David F. Ollis. Biochemical Engineering Fundamentals. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1986. ISBN: 9780070032125.


Attendance in class and class participation are expected for this course. There will be 3 homework assignments and one written report based on examples of biocatalysis process design/development in the literature.

Students are encouraged to work with classmates in discussing the course and the course assignments; however, solutions to homework problems and the final written report are to be completed on an individual basis.


activities percentages
Homework #1 15%
Homework #2 15%
Homework #3 15%
Design Report 55%

Course Info

Learning Resource Types

notes Lecture Notes
assignment Problem Sets