Course code BIO335

BIO335 Applied Biocatalysis and Biorefining

There may be changes to the course due to to corona restrictions. See Canvas and StudentWeb for info.

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2020 - 2021 .

Course responsible: Svein Jarle Horn
Teachers: Aniko Varnai, Bjørge Westereng, Phillip Byron Pope, Line Degn Hansen, Gustav Vaaje-Kolstad, Vincentius Gerardus Henricus Eijsink
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science
Teaching language: EN, NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:

This course has teaching/evaluation in the Autumn parallel.

In 2021 the course will take place in August, with a presentation of student assigments in November.

Course frequency: <p>Annually.</p><p>In odd numbered years the course is given intensively in August with presentation of assignment in November.</p>
First time: 2017H
Preferential right:

The course is compulsory for students admitted to the

  • Master´s programme in Biotechnology, specialisation Biochemistry
  • Master's programme in Technology, specialisation Chemistry and Biotechnology  
Course contents:

In the emerging bioeconomy there is a need to develop novel processes for converting biomass to a range of products, a concept often referred to as biorefining. In this regard, the application of biocatalysis is a key technology. A biocatalytic process encompass any process using enzymes for converting a feedstock to a product. Biocatalysis may be carried out by single enzymes, enzyme cocktails, pure cultures of microbial cells (fermentation) or microbial communities.

This course will give a thorough understanding of enzymes, with a particular emphasis on how biocatalysis can be applied in industrial scale processes. This will include topics such as industrial enzyme production, production of second generation bioethanol, feed and food applications, and biogas production. In the course, several examples from current research projects at NMBU will be used. 

The course shed light on UN Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production.

Learning outcome:


The students should:

  • understand what biocatalysis is
  • know what enzymes are and how they are produced
  • know what fermentation processes are
  • have an overview of the use of biocatalysis in the industry
  • understand what biorefining is


The students should:

  • be able to draft biorefining processes
  • understand the opportunities and limitations of biocatalysis

General competence

The students should:

  • be able to evaluate potential products that can be made from different feedstocks
  • communicate biocatalytic topics, both in writing and orally
  • have a solid foundation for further studies in bioprocessing and biorefining
Learning activities:
Self-study of relevant journal papersLecturesA written report on a selected topic 
Teaching support:

The teachers are present during the entire course period and can also be reached via e-mail.


Lectures and selected scientific articles.
Biochemistry equivalent to KJB200General microbiology equivalent to BIO130 

Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
Lectures (presence of 80 %) and project report.
Passed /not passed for the written project report.
Nominal workload:
Lectures: 24 hour. Self study and project report: 126 hours.
Entrance requirements:
Special requirements in Science
Type of course:

Even numbered years: Two lectures per week in 12 weeks. Project report.

Odd numbered years: 24 lecture hours in August block. Presentation of assignment in November.

In odd numbered years the course is given in August with presentation of assignment in November.
Both an internal and an external examiner will evaluate project report.
Examination details: Term paper: Passed / Failed