NFOK24002U Downstream Processing

Volume 2024/2025

MSc Programme in Biosolutions


The course will familiarize the students with the principles and challenges of downstream processing in bio-based production systems. The course will cover principles of unit operation and the integration of the different process steps, incorporating the effect of the material on the selection of relevant downstream processing technologies. Cleaning-in-Place for bio-processes will be discussed, being an integral part of production operation and planning. The theory will cover both existing technologies and state-of-the-art / future developments. Efficiency, robustness and process performance will be central as well as instrumentation and methodologies from the area of Process Analytical Technology / Industry 4.0 for process monitoring and control.

Learning Outcome

The course will train students to in the use of the following technologies in biotechnology / novel biosolutions.



  • Harvesting from soluble or intercellular expression
  • Product and material understanding plus processing; basic principles such as purification, size and affinity
  • Separation technologies based on size, i.e. centrifugation, membranes, industrial chromatography
  • Freeze drying and spray Drying, including energy efficiency and optimization
  • Stability through the supply chain, including side streams and formulation
  • Cleaning-in-Place in the biotech industry
  • Process monitoring and control, including instrumentation and data-driven decision making in the bio-process industry



  • Formulate challenges and solutions in downstream processing in the biotech industry
  • Evaluate alternative production pathways in downstream processing, including (energy) efficiency, robustness and sustainability criteria  



  • Analyze and evaluate downstream processes
  • Suggest improvements / alternatives on downstream processing to enhance quality / sustainability
  • Design and improve a strategies for a new products / streams
  • Interaction with the (upstream and downstream) costumers

See Absalon for a list of course literatures. Source code and toolboxes for the statistical software is available via Absalon.

It is assumed that the student have competences corresponding to a course in chemical, biotechnological or food science. Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree are recommended.
The students will be introduced to the theory through lectures and cases. The students will work individually and in groups on mini-assignments / exercises and will receive oral feedback. The results are evaluated in class-wide mini-presentations (not graded, peer-review oral feedback). Each participant will make one such presentation during the course, and this contribution by the student is a requirement to take part in the exam.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 50
  • Preparation
  • 77
  • Theory exercises
  • 30
  • Exercises
  • 48
  • Exam
  • 1
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutes (no preparation)
Type of assessment details
At the individual, oral exam the students are quizzed on the curriculum / theory of the course.
Exam registration requirements

The students have to have presented mini-assignments / exercises during the course (not graded). Each participant will make one presentation during the course, and this contribution by the student is a requirement to take part in the exam.

Written aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners

Same as the ordinary exam.

Mini-assignments / exercises (not graded) must be handed in 2 weeks before the re-exam.

Criteria for exam assesment

See Learning Outcome