BPE-36806 Advanced separation process design


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Course coordinator(s)dr. G Olivieri
Lecturer(s)dr. G Olivieri
dr. ir. A Rinzema
Examiner(s)dr. ir. A Rinzema
dr. G Olivieri

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

BPE-20806 Separation Process Design, BPE-12806 Bioprocess Engineering Basics BT.

Continuation courses:

BPE-32306 Advanced Biorefinery, BPE-60312 Bioprocess Design


The biobased industry needs people who know how to design a complex industrial-scale separation process, based on economic, environmental and social sustainability criteria. This course teaches you how to make such a design for bulk products and high-value products.
The course consists of two parts:
- design of complex separation techniques that are missing in previous courses;
- integrated design of a whole refinery.
In the first part, you learn how to design individual unit operations for fractionation, purification and preservation (distillation, adsorption, membrane filtration, fractional precipitation, crystallization, drying). The theory comprises three aspects:
- thermodynamic models needed for calculations on non-ideal phase equilibria and for transport processes in non-ideal mixtures;
- force, mass and energy balances needed to design a separator (algebraic or differential equations);
- scale-up problems in separators.
In the second part, you learn how to synthesize and design a complete refinery. This boils down to:
- experience-based rules for choosing the types and sequence of unit operations (process synthesis);
- techniques for optimizing the process (linear and non-linear optimization, cost and profitability analysis).
This course is part of a series of bioprocess engineering courses. The required knowledge is:
- knowledge and skills from BPE-20806 Separation Process Design or a similar course;
- proficiency in solving sets of algebraic and differential equations;
- knowledge of basic thermodynamics.
This course provides the background for BCT-32306 Advanced Biorefinery.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- design complex unit operations for separation, fractionation, purification and preservation at industrial scale, using mathematical models based on advanced thermodynamics and transport phenomena.
- synthesize a complete separation train, and motivate their choices.
- optimize a complete separation train, using the sustainability criteria used in the course.


- mid-term assessment with a group assignment and a report evaluation after the first part;
- assessment with a group assignment and a report evaluation after the second part;
- written examination with closed book.
The final mark is based on the exam mark (50% of the final grade) and of the reports (25% of the final grade each). The marks for all parts (final exams and reports) must be at least 5.5.


A reader will be provided at the beginning of the course. Additional reading advice (chapters/papers from scientific and industrial literature) will be given at the beginning of each topic.

Restricted Optional for: MBTBiotechnologyMScD: Process Technology4WD
MBSBiobased SciencesMScB: Biorefinery and conversion4WD