Biochemical Engineering


Heat and Mass Transfer in Bioprocesses

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Course Title
Level Two
Module Tutor
Dr Farlan Veraitch
Three-hour written examination (80%)
Coursework (20%)


To provide students with an understanding of the basic principles of heat and mass transfer required to design bioprocesses.

Learning Hours


Lectures, case studies and tutorials: 36h


  • Introduction: Mechanisms and applications of heat transfer.
  • Steady state heat transfer fundamentals: Resistances to heat transfer. Case study 1: Heat transfer in heat exchangers and fermenter coils. Case Study 2: Evaluation of a cooling system with fermenter jackets.
  • Unsteady state heat transfer fundamentals: Application to canning operations.
  • Preservation by rapid drying: Principles underlying the design of a spray drying system. Recent advances in rapid drying technology. Impact of product formulation on spray drying. Case study - Design of a spray drier for drying heat-labile proteins.
  • Freeze drying: Principles of heat and mass transfer underlying freeze drying. Impact of operating conditions on drying. Impact of product formulation on freeze drying.
  • Fundamentals of mass transfer
  • Chromatographic theory: Mass transfer concepts including film resistance and diffusional effects.  Isotherms and the concept of breakthrough curves and frontal analysis for the determination of key parameters.  Use of single component and multi-component competitive isotherms.
  • Fundamentals of Distillation: Distillation principles, phase diagrams and equilibrium curves, non-ideal systems, continuous distillation, McCabe – Thiele method, column operation. Case study on azeotropes and biofuels