UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering


Heat and Mass Transfer in Bioprocesses

Course Code
Level MSc
Credits 15 credits
Module Tutor
Dr Farlan Veraitch
Three-hour examination (80%)
Coursework (20%)


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

Learning Outcomes

Following completion of the course, students will have an understanding of:

  • the key design features that determine the heat transfer capability of fermenter.
  • evaluating the consequences of process changes on the performance of fermenter sterilisation and cooling.
  • designing a spray drier for rapid drying of heat-labile proteins.
  • defining conditions for successful operation of a freeze drying process.
  • the basis for dispersion and mass transfer within packed bed chromatography systems.

Learning Hours


Lectures and seminars: 32h


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. The 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. The impact of operating conditions on drying. Impact of product formulation on freeze drying.
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.