970310 Practical course in environmental biotechnology (in Eng)

Vortragende/r (Mitwirkende/r)
Neureiter, Markus , Mautner, Andreas , Fritz, Ines
Angeboten im Semester
Sommersemester 2024
Unterrichts-/ Lehrsprachen


The aim of the Practical Course in Environmental Biotechnology is to teach methods and processes in environmental biotechnology. Within a runtime of 1-3 weeks a specific area in the field of environmental biotechnology will be covered. Usually practice-oriented experiments on laboratory or pilot scale will be conducted.

The selected topics can be attributed to the following subjects:
- Contaminated Land Management
- Anaerobic Digestion
- Biomaterial- and Enzyme Technology
- Renewable Ressources for Fuels, Chemicals and Polymers
- Environmental Microbiology
- Water- and Wastewater Treatment

Work programme for 2024:

Students engage in practical work for the biotechnological production of polyhydroxybutyrate (P3HB), a biobased and biodegradable polymer. They experience basic principles of bioprocess technology, including tasks for up- and downstream processing, simple process analytics as well as characterization of the products and establishing differences based on the various prodcution protocols. The students are divided into three groups and work on one of three practical examples:

Example 1: Photoautotrophic production of PHB with cyanobacteria
- Setup, reactor assembly and media preparation for a photobioreactor (airlift, flat bed or open bed) at laboratory or small pilot scale
- Inoculum preparation, inoculation, process monitoring, operation of a batch fermentation process
- Concentration of an intracellular product (part of a downstream process)
- Analysis and evaluation of the results

Example 2: Heterotrophic production of PHB with a bacterial strain
- Setup, preparation and media preparation, sterilization of a bioreactor
- Inoculum preparation, inoculation, process control, operation of a fed-batch fermentation process, sampling
- Concentration of an intracellular product via microfiltration
- Analysis and evaluation of the results

Example 3: Characterization of biopolymers produced from bacteria
- Studying the effects of the different production protocols of the properties of the polymers
- Thermal properties (DSC/TGA)
- Chemical/Elemental Composition (XPS, FTIR spectroscopy)
- if possible: mechanical properties

The practical work and the results will be elaborated and assessed within the group. There will be a presentation day, where results and experiences of each are presented and discussed with all participants.

Inhaltliche Voraussetzungen (erwartete Kenntnisse)

- Practical experience and required skills for working in chemical and microbiological laboratories
- Awareness about hazards & risks and safety requirements in a lab

Students with insufficient lab skills may be excluded from the course!


The students are familiar with the practical work required for the operation of a biotechnological production process for biobased and biodegradable plastics and have conducted at least partially some of these operations in person.

The students are able to relate the theoretical knowledge from lectures with practical experiences and may also have experienced that practical processes can deviate from theoretically expected behavior.

The students have the ability to elaborate their own results and present them to a larger audience. They have sufficient insight on the topic to spontaneously engage in a discussion and to answer detailed questions related to their practical work and results.
Noch mehr Informationen zur Lehrveranstaltung, wie Termine oder Informationen zu Prüfungen, usw. finden Sie auf der Lehrveranstaltungsseite in BOKUonline.