First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SC01110895, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
SC1731, Degree course structure A.Y. 2014/15, A.Y. 2018/19
bring this page
with you
Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination BIOCHEMICAL REACTORS
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Biology
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge ELEONORA SFORZA ING-IND/25

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Other -- -- 3.0
Core courses ING-IND/25 Chemical Plants 2.0
Core courses ING-IND/34 Industrial Bioengineering 1.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Laboratory 1.0 16 9.0 No turn
Lecture 5.0 40 85.0 No turn

Start of activities 01/10/2018
End of activities 18/01/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2014 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
7 REATTORI BIOCHIMICI 2018-2019 01/10/2018 30/11/2019 SFORZA ELEONORA (Presidente)
BERTUCCO ALBERTO (Membro Effettivo)
6 REATTORI BIOCHIMICI 2017/2018 01/10/2017 25/11/2018 SFORZA ELEONORA (Presidente)
BERTUCCO ALBERTO (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: None.
Target skills and knowledge: This course is aimed to provide the students with the basic knowledge regarding the features and operation characteristics of industrial bioreactors and fermenters, both qualitatively and quantitatively.
Examination methods: 1) delivery of the files prepared during the computer lab sessions, both as single students and as group work
2) delivery of a written report about the experimental lab activities and results, according to the teacher’s request
3) oral exam (in Italian), with discussion about two questions randomly selected by the student from a list with three groups of questions which has been distributed to the class before the end of the semester. The oral exam can be taken only after the fulfillment of laboratory requirements.
Assessment criteria: The student performance evaluation is based on:
1) proven ability to correctly use computer programs for correlating the values of kinetic parameters from experimental data (based on the evaluation of files and report delivered)
2) proven comprehension of concepts and methods proposed for bioreactor modeling, with special emphasis on mass balances for biological reactors (oral exam)
The final marks are calculated as an average of the marks of the two oral questions, rounded on the base of the evaluation of lab reports.
Course unit contents: Material and Energy conservation balance fundamentals, and their application to industrial block flow diagrams.
Basics of biochemical reactor engineering, and schemes for both enzymatic and biological reactors.
Biochemical kinetics evaluation: models, experimental measurements and kinetic parameter correlation.
Immobilized enzymes and cell technology. Effect of immobilization on the reaction kinetics.
Modeling and simulation of biochemical reactors: Batch Reactor, Continuous Stirred Tank Reactor (CSTR), Plug Flow Reactor (PFR), Dispersed Flow Reactor, Recycle Reactor, Attached growth reactor, Bubble reactor, Trickle-bed reactor. Processes with thickening and recycling of biomass.
Process control in bioreactors.
Industrial examples: large scale fermenters, biological wastewater treatment with activated sludge, large scale microalgae cultivation.
Computer calculations: Excel simulation of a bioreactor.
Laboratory experiments: E.coli fermentation in pilot reactor. Measurement and comparison of biomass productivity between a batch reactor and a continuous perfectly mixed reactor. The students are required to actively contribute to the start-up of the equipment, by setting the values of operating variables, by inoculating the microorganisms and by measuring the produced biomass. The measured data will then be used to calculate the values of the growth kinetic parameters, and to assess the biomass productivity.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: 1) classroom lectures with examples on how to write and solve simple mass balances about biochemical reactors.
2) computer laboratory teaching and activities
3) experimental laboratory practice
Additional notes about suggested reading: lecture notes delivered by the teacher
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • --, Bioprocess Engineering (Second Edition): Kinetics, Sustainability, and Reactor Design. --: --, --. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Laboratory
  • Problem based learning
  • Working in group
  • Questioning
  • Problem solving
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Quality Education Gender Equality Clean Water and Sanitation Affordable and Clean Energy Decent Work and Economic Growth Responsible Consumption and Production