UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering


Industrial Biotechnology: Sustainable Bioprocesses and Biorefineries

This online course focuses on integrating Biocatalysis and Synthetic Biology into Sustainable Chemical Manufacturing Processes

The aims of this short course is to provide a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of the industrial biotechnology field from an introductory perspective. The course covers topics such as renewable resources, design of biorefineries, process integration, techno-economic analysis and life cycle assessment. These will be addressed using a combination of lectures, case studies and quizzes which will enable you to:

  • Acquire knowledge in fundamentals and application of sustainable bioprocesses and biorefineries
  • Be able to plan and design biorefineries
  • Be able to specify component technologies and evaluate different operating strategies
  • Acquire the skills to evaluate process economics and sustainability of biorefineries

Course delivery

Enabling self-paced learning through a series of lectures over 15–30 hours. Delegates can access materials for up to 9 months allowing for flexible study.

Who should attend?

This course is designed for individuals working in any of the following industries where sustainable bioprocesses using renewable resources is important:

  • Fine and specialty chemicals
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Personal care products
  • Diagnostics as well as sustainable processing in the biorefining, biofuels and bulk polymer sectors.

It would be of particular interest to (biochemical) engineers who would benefit from broadening their knowledge base, those new to industrial biotechnology (recent graduates/research scientists) and project managers, funders and policy-makers wanting to gain an understanding in this area.

Key Topics

  • Biorefining principles and challenges
  • Feedstocks and exploitation: process challenges
  • Feedstocks to synthetic building blocks
  • Successful and emerging enzyme chemistries for biocatalysis
  • Biocatalytic reactor design and operation
  • High throughput fermentation and biocatalytic process development
  • Industry perspective on biocatalytic process development
  • Biocatalytic process development for pharmaceutical applications
  • Overview of biocatalyst engineering and synthetic biology
  • Enzyme discovery and metagenomics
Module Leader

Dr Frank Baganz currently holds the position of Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biochemical Engineering at University College London (UCL). He joined UCL as a lecturer in 1998 following the completion of his PhD in Yeast Molecular Biology and Fermentation from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.

He has established a track record in modelling, engineering and scale-up/down of fermentation, cell culture and biocatalytic processes. In particular, he established the engineering fundamentals of mixing and oxygen transfer in microwells and developed novel miniaturised bioreactors. His research also demonstrated the feasibility of predictive scale up from micro/mini reactors to lab scale reactors using established methods. In collaboration with Professor Gary Lye, he pioneered the use of microwell-based techniques to acquire information about fermentation and bioconversion. In recognition for his contributions to this area he received the 2010 Pharmaceuticals Division Plenary Award of the AIChE.

Recently, he established research in the area of algal biotechnology. Working in close collaboration with Dr Saul Purton (ISMB) he is assessing the potential of microalgae for recombinant protein synthesis and the production and recovery of biofuels using scale-down approaches for cell and process characterisation.