What Is Biochemical Engineering
Biochemical engineering is the scientific discipline of applying the principles of engineering in conceiving, designing, developing, operating, or using products and their processes based on biochemical and biological phenomena. It is mostly taught as a supplement to chemical engineering or biological engineering due to the similarities in both professions in terms of the background subject curriculum and techniques of problem solving.
In the early stages of biochemical engineering, the biochemical engineers mostly involved with the optimization of microorganism growth in conditions where oxygen was present. This is at the scale of thousands of liters. Even though the scale of the subject has expanded, the focus on microorganism growth in aerobic conditions still remains. The most common aim in the early stages of biochemical engineering is developing an efficient process of maximizing the production of a renewable energy source derived from biological materials. This renewable energy source is called biomass. Biomass is mostly constituted of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, mineral salts, some phosphorus, and trace amounts of particular metals. These substances are added to a fermentor and are then used by bacteria as consumption as they metabolize and reproduce. Oxygen is added to the fermentor and supplied as sterile air to promote the growth of the culture.
The optimization and operation of aerobic cultures on a large scale is still of vital importance in the field of biochemical engineering. In recent years, the cultivation of a wide range of cell types has risen in importance also. Biochemical engineering professionals are frequently concerned and actively involved with the culture and cultivation of plant cells, mammalian cells, and even insect cells. They also utilize the genetically modified versions of the aforementioned cell types. Biochemical engineering also has an active involvement in the process of removing pollutants using the metabolic processes of microorganism as well as the development of immunotechnology vaccines.