Presentation on theme: "The contribution of chemical engineering to biotechnology"— Presentation transcript:
1 The contribution of chemical engineering to biotechnology Professor Howard Chase FREngProfessor of Biochemical EngineeringDepartment of Chemical Engineering
2 DefinitionsBiotechnology - “the application of scientific and engineering principles to the processing of materials by biological agents to provide goods and services”Biochemical engineering - “the contribution of chemical engineering to biotechnology”.
3 Where can biotechnology be applied? All applications benefit from an input of chemical engineering principles although the scales may not be the same as that encountered in the traditional oil and chemical industries. Some scales are smaller (e.g. healthcare) and some larger (environmental).
4 Biological cells: the source of sustainable molecules and more H2, CH4, O2, CO2Ethanol, butanol, acetone, propane-diol, biodieselOrganic acids, amino acids, flavouringsPharmaceuticals (e.g. antibioticsBiopolymers (plastics and rheology)Proteins: enzymes and therapeuticsGene therapy products (packaged nucleic acid sequences)VaccinesMicrobial cells (environmental clean-up; waste treatment)Human cells (stem cells; tissue replacements)Hybrid products: bio/electrical/optical/mechanical (e.g. biosensors)
5 Why not chemical engineering? The chemical engineer’s tool-box Material and energy balancesThermodynamics and equilibriaSeparation principles and selectivityHeat and mass transferModellingMeasurement techniquesProcessesMicrostructure engineeringProduct design
6 Some outcomes for biotechnology Bioreactor design and optimization (fermenter mixing and aeration; biocatalysis)Separation and purification of (complex) biomolecules/molecular entitiesControlled drug release; targeted drug deliveryScaffolds for tissue cultureP &ID, Hazop/Hazan, Batch process scheduling; debottle-neckingSystems’ biology
7 Biotechnology is not new to Chemical Engineering @ Cambridge Peter King: 1953 photosynthethic Chlorella with PVDJohn Davidson: 1980 member of committee for Spinks ReportDeep shaft waste treatment processes & ICI’s Pruteen bioreactorNigel Kenney: Packed bed processes for antibiotic purification.Nigel Slater: Maintenance of sterility in valves and pipes attached to fermenters
8 What has this department done recently? Healthcare Purification of molecules and biological assemblies produced in biological systemsTargeted delivery of pharmaceuticals to cells.Purification of viruses and constructs for gene therapy.Separation of different types of human blood cells.Bioreactors for the growth of stem cellsSeparation of differentiated from non-differentiated stem cells.
9 Energy and the environment Biodiesel production from vegetable oils and algaeGasification of sewage sludgeOil production by pyrolysis of cellulosic materials.Reduced sludge production in activated sludge waste water treatmentBiofilm reactors for degrading toxic compounds in aqueous wastes
10 Case study. Expanded bed adsorption for protein purification. A quasi-packed bed through which particulates in non- clarified feeds can passUSegregation of beads via distributions of size and densityUmf < U < Ut ~ 0.4 ~Fluidised Bed Well mixed Poor adsorptionPacked Bed Blocks with particulatesExpanded Bed
11 Simplified Downstream Processing Flow Sheets Conventional Process :50-80% total production costscascade of 5-6 stagesdecreasing yield with increasing number of stagesExpanded Bed Adsorption :clarification, concentration and purification in one stageincrease in yield through reduction in stages
12 The expanded bed in action: purification of enzymes from yeast cells
17 The future of biotechnology: a personal vision New therapeutics; gene therapy; personalized medicine; replacement organsNovel diagnosisRenewable feedstocks for the (petro)-chemical industriesDirect biological energy production; photosynthesisBiological information storage: DNA versus siliconImproved environmental clean-up
18 The future of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology Chemical engineering has a pivotal role in the delivery of biotechnological discovery and innovation for the benefit of societyBiotechnology will continue to provide intriguing challenges for chemical engineers as the range, variety and extent of applications proliferates.Chemical engineers have the appropriate ‘wherewithal’ to meet and surpass those expectations.The right combination at the right time in the right place.