Haugh, Jason M. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Kelly, Robert M. Department of Chemical Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Last reviewed:October 2019
- Historical perspective
- General principles
- Cultivation of microorganisms and cells
- Immobilized enzymes and cells
- Downstream processing
- New directions in biochemical/biomolecular engineering
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The application of engineering principles to conceive, design, develop, operate, and/or use processes and products based on biological and biochemical phenomena. Biochemical engineering (also known as biomolecular engineering because of the emphasis on the molecular basis of biological phenomena) influences a broad range of industries, including health care, agriculture, food, enzymes, chemicals, waste treatment, and energy, among others. Historically, biochemical engineering has been distinguished from biomedical engineering by its emphasis on biochemistry and microbiology and by the lack of a health care focus. This is no longer the case. There is increasing participation of biochemical engineers in the direct development of pharmaceuticals and other therapeutic products. Biochemical engineering has been central to the development of the biotechnology industry, given the need to generate prospective products (often using genetically engineered microorganisms and cells) on scales sufficient for testing, regulatory evaluation, and subsequent sale. See also: Biomedical engineering; Biotechnology
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