BIO335 Applied Biocatalysis and Biorefining

Credits (ECTS):5

Course responsible:Svein Jarle Horn

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Engelsk, norsk

Limits of class size:30

Course frequency:


In odd numbered years the course is given intensively in August.

Nominal workload:Lectures: 24 hour. Self study and project report: 101 hours.

Teaching and exam period:

This course has teaching/evaluation in the Autumn parallel.

In 2023 the course will take place August 21-25.

About this course

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
    • Self-study of relevant journal papers
    • Lectures
    • A written report on a selected topic
  • The teachers are present during the entire course period and can also be reached via e-mail.


    • Biochemistry equivalent to KJB200
    • General microbiology equivalent to BIO130
  • Passed /not passed for the written project report.

  • Both an internal and an external examiner will evaluate project report.
  • Lectures (presence of 80 %).
  • In odd numbered years the course is given in August.

    In even numbered years the course is given in the autumn parallel.

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

    Odd numbered years: 24 lecture hours in August block.

  • 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
  • Special requirements in Science