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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Design and Operation of Bioreactors
Module Code BE322
School School of Biotechnology
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Brian Freeland
Semester 2: Brian Freeland
Autumn: Brian Freeland
Module TeachersPaula Meleady
Brian Freeland
Denise Harold
Damien King
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

In this module the student is introduced to the main features of bioreactors including their design, control, operation and instrumentation.

Learning Outcomes

1. Describe the main features of bioreactors and associated instrumentation
2. Demonstrate an understanding of temperature, pH and dissolved oxygen control in bioreactors
3. Demonstrate an understanding of heat and mass transfer in bioreactors, including the role of mixing, agitator design and sparger design
4. Apply simple rules for the scale-up of bioreactors
5. Describe the main techniques used to separate cells from the bioreactor medium
6. Use simple engineering models to design and analyse filtration and centrifugation processes.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture12On campus lectures (bioreactors)
Online activity12Online asynchronous lectures
Independent Study16Completion of problem sets
Independent Study4Viewing and study of solutions to problem sets
Group work6Completion of team assignment (bioreactors)
Independent Study75Study and revision
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Bioreactor construction and instrumentation
The main characteristics of bioreactors. The standard configuration. Temperature, pH and DO probes. Biomass probes and PAT.

Control of bioreactors
The feedback concept. On-off control. PI control. Controller response characteristics

Heat, mass and momentum transfer in bioreactors
Power number and Reynolds number in bioreactors. The formation and dynamics of bubbles in agitated systems. Measuring and predicting the kLa in bioreactors. Sterilization and cooling of bioreactors.

Scale-up bioreactors
Geometric similarity. Mixing times. Scale-up rules.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
In Class TestIn-class test on bioreactor design and operation and processes50%n/a
AssignmentTeam assignment (including team presentation)25%n/a
AssignmentIndividual assignment on a research article related to bioprocessing and bioreactors25%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • B. Atkinson and F. Mavituna: 1991, Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology Handbook, 2nd Ed., Macmillan, 1561590126
  • P. Doran: 1995, Bioprocess Engineering Principles, P. Doran, Academic Press, London, 0122208552
  • H.W. Blanch and D.S. Clark: 1996, Biochemical Engineering, Marcel Dekker, New York, 0824789490
  • J.D. Bu'Lock and B. Kristiansen: 1987, Basic Biotechnology, Academic Press, London, 0121407527
  • A.H.Scragg: 1991, Bioreactors in Biotechnology - A Practical Approach, E. Horwood, New York, 0130851434
  • J.E. Bailey and D.F. Ollis: 1986, Biochemical Engineering Fundamentals, 2nd, McGraw-Hill, New York, 0070032122
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
AFUAge Friendly University Programme
BPBSc in Bioprocessing
BSSAStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
BSSAOStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
BTBSc in Biotechnology
HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
IESAStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)
IESAOStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)
SHSAStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
SHSAOStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
Date of Last Revision01-OCT-08

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