BPE-20806 Separation Process Design


Studiepunten 6.00

Course coordinator(s)dr. G Olivieri
Lecturer(s)dr. G Olivieri
dr. ir. MH Vermuë
dr. ir. A Rinzema
Examiner(s)dr. ir. A Rinzema
dr. G Olivieri

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

BPE-12806 Bioprocess Engineering Basics BT; PCC-12303 General Chemistry 1; PCC-12403 General Chemistry 2; MAT-14903 Mathematics 2; MAT-15003 Mathematics 3; BPE-21306 Bioreactor Design

Continuation courses:

FPE-31306 Transfer Processes, BCT-23306 Biorefinery, BPE-36806 Advanced Separation Design


Separating desired biological molecules from undesired by-products or feedstock residues is very important in the bioprocess industry and in biorefineries. It often requires separation of particles such as cells, organelles or product crystals from liquids, using sedimentation tanks, centrifuges or (membrane) filters. Separation of desired molecules from undesired ones is also frequently required, using for example extraction, adsorption, crystallization or evaporation. Finally it may be necessary to add or remove heat. This course teaches you how to design such separation units following either an equilibrium based approach or a transport rate-based approach; it extends the theory from BPE-12806 which uses only equilibria. You will learn how to derive the algebraic equations or ordinary differential equations needed for the unit design from force, mass and energy balances, and how to use them to calculate the required size, the allowed feeding rate or the possible product recovery efficiency of a separator. Attention is also paid to the design of simple process involving coupled process unit operation.
This course is part of a series of process engineering courses, so skills and knowledge from BPE-12806 are required, as well as skills and knowledge from 1st-year mathematics and physical chemistry courses.
Simple concepts of bioprocess engineering design are assumed to be known to set mass and energy balances and to evaluate the perfomance of unit operations.
Knolwegde of methods for solving linear and non linear algebraical equation system as well as ordinary differential equation systems is mandatory.
Knowledge of physics of fluid and granular solids are required.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- identify the rate-affecting phenomena in separators discussed in the course;
- select the best approach to design the operation between a rate- and an equilibrium-based
- set up the balance equations required for the design of a separator and solve them;
- identify the degrees of freedom in the design of a separator and explain their effect;
- evaluate the consequences of design choices, also in combinations of separators;
- optimize the operation of a separator, selecting the most appropriate performance criterion.


- attend lectures;
- study the syllabus and work on assisted assignments (tutorials);
- do experiments;
- analyse and discuss the outcome.


Two intermediate practicals (week 3 and week 6) made in group ending both in a design report. Each design report counts for 15% of the whole grade.

A closed-book exam consisting of open questions about elements from the list above (70% of the grade) 

Grades for all the parts must be at least 5.5.


A syllabus is provided by the course coordinator.
Additional material is made available in Brightspace.

Verplicht voor: BBTBiotechnologyBSc5MO
Keuze voor: WUBITBSc Minor Biotechnology5MO