Bioreactor Technology

5 ECTS / Semester / Portuguese

Objectives and competences

The subject is included in the group of the Engineering Sciences and aims to provide the student with design tools and operation of bioreactors.

The course aims that the students acquire:
Knowledge on bioreactors that use full living systems or enzymes to perform certain transformations, in a targeted and controlled manner.
Ability to analyse bioreactors that operate in different regimes and calculation of process variables.

Students should acquire skills to:
Obtain kinetic parameters in biological processes.
Evaluate potential oxygen limitations in aerated systems
Evaluate the influence of operating conditions in different fermentation or enzymatic systems.
Design and scale bioreactors of different configurations.
Capacity of analysis.
Critical capacity.
Ability to team work.


Teaching Methodologies

Fermentation and enzymology modules, consisting of lectures, guidance for the resolution of application exercises, theoretical-practical and laboratory classes that are addressed to practical cases.




Biological processes - applications, advantages and disadvantages.
Fermentation processes - objectives; applications. Flow diagram of a generic fermentation process.
Growth kinetics, substrate consumption and production of metabolites. Fermentation systems; batch, fed-batch and continuous reactors.
Oxygen transfer in fermentation processes. Oxygen limitation of growth.
Methods for measuring the overall oxygen transfer coefficient.
Types of fermenters.
Industrial use of enzymes. Main types of enzyme bioreactors - bioreactors with industrial importance.
Kinetics of enzyme catalysed reactions. Bioreactors with free enzymes.
Immobilization of enzymes. Kinetics of reactions catalysed by immobilized enzymes.
Bioreactors with immobilized enzymes.

TP and PL classes

Case studies and practical exercises related to the topics covered in lectures.
Laboratory work on batch and continuous fermentations.


Associate Professor
Isabel Vasconcelos graduated in Chemical Engineering at the University of Porto, Portugal and got her M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Biotechnology, option…
Ana S. T. Oliveira holds a degree in Biochemistry from Faculty of Sciences and Technology - University of Coimbra, a masters degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry…
Assistant Professor
Maria da Conceição B. Moreira da Silva Hogg has been Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Biotechnology – UCP Porto since 1991. She holds a PhD in…