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Second Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)
[60/76]  BIOTECHNOLOGY [76/10 - Ord. 2018]  Industriale e Ambientale 11 96


Knowledge and understanding: the course aims to provide the basic knowledge and understanding related to industrial chemistry with particular reference to thermodynamics, kinetics, catalysis, reaction mechanisms, the knowledge of which is fundamental for the realization and the conduction of chemical and biotechnological processes applied to industry for a sustainable development.
Applying knowledge and understanding: students will be able to apply their knowledge and understanding in the management of industrial biotechnology processes, to perform material and energy balances for simple processes and to solve elementary problems of heat exchange.
Making judgments: students will be able to independently gather and interpret scientific data derived from laboratory measurements and to conduct an experiment with the quantification and evaluation of the results.
Communication skills: students will be able to conduct experiments as a team and to write a report on the laboratory activities using the word and/or graphics processors and the most common spreadsheet programs.

The course provides advanced knowledge on the applications of enzymes in the industrial fields.
At the end of the course, the students should be able to discern practical conditions for enzyme application in several biotech fields.


The students must have good basic knowledge of General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Physical Chemistry. In particular: equations balancing, stoichiometric calculations, concentration of solutions; the main functional groups in organic chemistry and their reactivity; chemical thermodynamics (free energy, enthalpy, entropy); kinetics of chemical reactions.

Strong basis of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry.


- Industrial Chemistry and Chemical Industry.
Characteristics and economic importance of Chemical Industry. Industrial chemical processes. Definition and calculation of conversion, selectivity and yield of a chemical reaction. Evaluation of the industrial feasibility of a chemical reaction: economic and technical feasibility. Exercises.
- Polymeric Materials.
Natural, artificial and synthetic polymers. Plastics, fibers and elastomers. Policondensation and poliaddition. Thermoplastic and thermosetting polymers.
- Catalysis.
Definition of catalyst. Homogeneous catalysis. Heterogeneous catalysis. Classification of catalysts, Solid acid catalysts. Kinetics of heterogeneous catalytic reactions.
- Chemical reactors.
Continuous and discontinuous reactors. Equations for Batch, PFR and CSTR reactors. Isothermal and adiabatic reactors.
- Gaschromatography.
Principles and applications.
- Sustainable Development and Green Chemistry.
Definitions of Sustainable Development and Green Chemistry. The 12 Principles of Green Chemistry. Metrics of Green Chemistry. Definition and calculation of Atom Economy, Atom Efficiency and E-Factor. Exercises.
- Balances in reacting systems.
Representation of the material flow in a chemical process. The material balance equation. The energy balance equation. Exercises.
- Heat transfer.
Conduction and convection. Heat exchangers. Exercises.
- Separation processes.
Characteristics of separation processes. Selection of separation processes. Fractional distillation.
- Biotechnologies and Biopolymers.
- Biocatalysis.
Enzymes. Preparation of an enzyme for catalytic use. Bioconversions and biotransformations. Immobilized enzymes. Water activity. Reactions catalyzed by enzymes.
- Biotechnology and renewable energies.

Laboratory experiments:
-synthesis of polymers
-determination of the acidity of solid catalysts
-study of a catalytic reaction in the liquid phase by gas-chromatography

Enzymes: classification and kinetics: Ks, Km. Enzymatic rate. Enzymatic inhibition. Allosteric modulation.
Mechanism of interaction between enzymes and substrates/inhibitors/modulators/coenzymes/cofactors. Effect of pH, temperature, organic solvents on enzymatic activity.
Determination of enzymatic activity.
Biotech applications of enzymes. Immobilization.
Main bioinformatic tools in enzymology.

Teaching Methods

The course includes 32 hours of lectures and 24 hours of numerical exercises and laboratory experiments. Lectures are in Italian.

40 hours of classroom lectures supplemented by slide projection; then laboratory practicals and computer training.

***Teaching will be delivered simultaneously both in presence and online, thus outlining a mixed teaching that can be followed in university classrooms but also remotely. At the beginning of the semester, each student can opt, with a binding choice, for teaching in presence or distance. Depending on the availability of the classrooms and the number of students who opt for the attendance mode, there may be a shift for actual classroom access.***

***As for the laboratory activity, on the basis of the conditions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, online shifts and/or replacement activities may be envisaged. ***

Verification of learning

The final exam is an oral test, which students access only after delivering the reports on the laboratory experiments and taking a written test (minimum mark 15/30, obtained no longer than a year before the oral test). The reports must be delivered within one month after the end of the course, and in any case at least 15 days before the date of the oral exam. The written test, scheduled about a week before each oral exam session, consists of numerical exercises about: conversion, selectivity, yield, atom economy, atom efficiency and E-Factor of a reaction; material balance; heat transfer. During the oral test, the reports on the laboratory experiments and the written test are analyzed and discussed, and various topics covered during the lessons are addressed.
The mark for the Industrial Chemistry part, expressed in thirtieths, takes into account:
-the evaluation of the activity (participation, precision, collaboration, skill) of each student in the laboratory (10%)
-the evaluation of the exercises and laboratory reports (20%)
-the mark of the written test (20%)
-the mark of oral test (50%)

Examination has the form of a colloquium. Intermediate written tests are possible to assess ongoing learning ability.
Examinations are aimed to a correct and unbiased evaluation of the preparation degree reached by students, i.e. the achievements of the formative targets required in the course.
The examination is an individual colloquium, also requiring the use of graphics, equations, schemes, flux diagrams. The mark is expressed in thirtieth.

The FINAL OVERALL MARK is the average of the marks reported in the two parts.
The evaluation can be:
Very few lessons learned. Incapacity of simple conceptual connections. Insufficient expressive skills:
Sufficient (18-20)
Modest, but still sufficient, capacity to support a coherent dialogue. Few lessons learned, superficial level, many gaps, and elementary conceptual connections. Graphic expression rather stunted;
Fair (21-23)
More expressive skills than sufficient to support a coherent dialogue. Acceptable mastery of scientific language. Discreet acquisition of notions, but little depth, some gaps, and conceptual connections of moderate complexity. Acceptable graphic expression capability;
Good (24-26)
Satisfactory expressive skills and significant mastery of the scientific language. Baggage of rather broad, moderate insight, with little gaps. Dialogical capacity and critical spirit well-perceived. Graphic expression capability more than acceptable;
Great (27-29)
Remarkable expressive abilities and a high level of mastery of scientific language. Baggage of very extensive, thorough knowledge, with marginal lacks. Significant dialogic capacity, good competence, and considerable aptitude for logical synthesis. High graphic expression capability;
Excellent (30)
High expressive skills and a high level of mastery of scientific language. Baggage of very extensive and in-depth knowledge, any irrelevant gaps. Excellent dialogic capacity, a strong ability to make connections between different topics. Great acquaintance with graphic expression.
Honors (“Lode”) are given to candidates well above the average, and whose possible expressive, notional, conceptual, and logical limits appear to be totally irrelevant.

***Based on the conditions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, the written tests (both intermediate and final) may be replaced by different examination methods.***


Suggested texts:
1. Clausen, Mattson “Principles of Industrial Chemistry”, John Wiley & Sons
2. Carrà, Morbidelli “Chimica Fisica Applicata”, Hoepli
3. Petrone “Biotecnologia”, Siderea
Texts for insights:
1. Smith “Biotecnologie”, Zanichelli
2. Alberghina, Cernia “Biotecnologie e Bioindustria”, Utet
3. Straathof “Applied Biocatalysis”, Harwood Academic Publishers
4. Verga, Pilone “Biochimica Industriale”, Springer

Verga & Pilone “Biochimica Industriale”, Springer, Milano
Bonaccorsi di Patti et al., “Metodologie Biochimiche”, Ambrosiana, Milano;
- De Marco e Cini “Principi di Metodologia Biochimica”, Piccin, Padova
- Ninfa e Ballou “Metodologie di base per la Biochimica e le Biotecnologie”, Zanichelli, Bologna
- Garrett e Grisham “Principi di Biochimica”, Piccin, Padova
- Voet, Voet & Pratt, “Fondamenti di biochimica”, Zanichelli, Bologna
- Voet, Voet & Pratt, “Biochemistry”, Wiley and sons
- Bonner & Hargreaves "Basic Bioscience Laboratory Techniques", Wiley and Sons

More Information

Material made available for students:
- the slides of the lectures;
- copy of the numerical exercises with solutions;
- copy of the texts of exercises of the same type as those present in the written test.

The slides of the lessons and any handouts prepared by the teacher on specific topics are available to students on the teacher's home page at the Unica institutional site.

Questionnaire and social

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