ORC-20306 Bio-organic Chemistry


Studiepunten 6.00

Course coordinator(s)dr. ing. HB Albada
Lecturer(s)dr. ing. HB Albada
drs. AMEJ Franssen-Hagebols
FL van Delft
Examiner(s)dr. ing. HB Albada

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety

Assumed knowledge on:

ORC-12803 Organic Chemistry 1; ORC-12903 Organic Chemistry 2; ORC-11806 Analytical Methods in Organic Chemistry.


The Organic Chemistry of biomolecules is the central topic of this chemistry course. The lectures and tutorials are given on an advanced level in order to give the students a good insight into the (3D) structure and reactivity of biomolecules. Topics that will be discussed are conformations, chemistry and synthesis of the four major classes of biomolecules (carbohydrates, proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids), methods to perform bio-conjugation reactions, reaction mechanisms of enzymatic reactions, and the function and reactivities of co-enzymes and vitamins. The chemistry and biosynthesis of secondary metabolites is also discussed, since they play an important role in food-related biotechnology processes. Reaction mechanisms and stereochemistry are the central topics in all the lectures given.
The practical part of the course introduces the student to many practical aspects that play an important role in performing organic chemical experiments. Central in this practical course are the independent execution of several organic chemistry experiments that are based on important reactions like substitution, addition, elimination, condensation, reduction, electrophilic substitution and involve various classes of compounds among which biomolecules discussed in the lectures. The theoretical preparation includes a literature search for background information, reaction mechanisms and safety aspects. Learning the principles behind the equipment that is used for performing reactions combined with purifying and analysing the products are key features of the practicals. A critical and concise report has to be made of all performed experiments in which the detailed reaction mechanism, safety aspects, followed procedure, yield, analysis, purity determination have to be discussed; these reports are discussed with and graded by the group-supervisors.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain the structure and reactivity of biomolecules and the functional groups present therein;
- apply this on the organic chemistry of biomolecules;
- set up and perform organic chemistry experiments in a safe and independent way;
- prepare a critical and concise reports of the experiments in which the relation between theory and practice is adequately described.


- the student attends the lectures;
- studies the reader and the book, and makes training exercises during the tutorials;
- in the practical course the student has to individually prepare and safely perform organic chemistry experiments, purify and analyse the obtained products and write reports of the experimental results.


- for the lecture part there is a written exam with open questions;
- the mark for the practical course is determined from the performance during the practical (50%; based on labjournal (5%), practical skills (30%), theoretical knowledge (10%), attitude (5%)) and the quality of the reports (50%; divided over written reports (30%) and fill-in reports (20%)).
The final grade is determined by the written exam (50%) and the practical course (50%). The minimum required grade for each part is 5.5.


Practical manual


Textbook: Organic Chemistry. International edition, by J. McMurry. ISBN 978-140-805-47-34. Available at the WUR-shop.

Verplicht voor: BMLMolecular Life SciencesBSc2MO
Keuze voor: BBTBiotechnologyBSc2MO
Verplicht voor: WUCHMBSc Minor Chemical Sciences2MO