chapter  19
30 Pages

Biochemical Engineering

References ....................................................................................................................................1529

Biochemical engineering involves the scale-up of biological processes. One of the earliest examples of the successful scale-up of a biological process was the production of penicillin during World War II. Industrial microbiologists used stirred-tank fermenters to culture molds on a large scale. During the 1960s and 1970s, biochemical engineering grew rapidly with the increased needs for the development of biological processes in the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries. The activities in bioprocessing grew even further as Arab oil embargos prompted the use of renewable energy sources, such as biomass. For example, cellulose, a major component of wood, can be broken down enzymatically to glucose, hence producing ethanol via yeast fermentation.