Separation Processes of Bio-molecules

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a) Demonstrate knowledge and systematic understanding in the field of biomolecule separation.

b) Be able to select in a reasoned way the most suitable methodology for the separation of the sample to be analysed.

c) Master the experimental procedures involved in performing advanced laboratory work aimed at obtaining valueadded bioproducts.

d) Develop a greater degree of scientific maturity, both in terms of research and bibliographic resources, refining the selection criteria and critical analysis, and in terms of improving oral and written communication employing the standards usually adopted by the scientific community.

e) Demonstrate personal and interpersonal skills (developing a taste for experiments, evidencing the ability to develop independent work, valuing the use of good laboratory practice, adhering to ethical guidelines, and manifesting the ability to integrate teams).


1 Brief introduction to the research strategies for obtaining Biomolecules

2 Introduction to Separation Processes

3 Solid-Liquid Separation Operations

Operations to remove suspended solids: filtration, sedimentation and centrifugation

4 Most commonly used methods to extractbiologic products

5 Cell disintegration

6 Separation Processes with Membranes

Micro/ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis. Dialysis

7 Other concentration processes of products in a solution

Precipitation, Crystallization, Evaporation

8 Purification processes

8.1 Techniques for chromatographic separation

Liquid chromatogr.: i) planar chromatogr. (paper, TLC); ii) column liquid chromatogr. (liquid-liquid, bonded phase, adsorption, ion exchange, affinity, molecular exclusion); iii) high pressure liquid chromatogr. ("flash", LPLC , MPLC, HPLC, UHPLC) Gas chromatogr.

8.2 Electrophoretic separation techn.

9 Integrated problems and validation of processes

10 Carrying out laboratory experiments

Teaching Methodologies

1.Teaching methodologies

Theoretical sessions supported by images and by the direct observation of all the instruments that are mentioned. Student participation is encouraged through explanations interpolated with guided discussions and the use of PBL (problem-based learning) methodologies at key points of the classes. Regarding the laboratory sessions, students will be divided in work groups, thus promoting the creation of team spirit.

2.Learning activities

2.1Summaries at key points of the syllabus

2.2Advanced bibliographic research and selection of bibliography

2.3Carrying out laboratory experiments

2.4Preparing protocols and reports

2.5Preparation, presentation and discussion of a scientific article about a topic addressed during theoretical and laboratory sessions


- Ahuja S (ed.). 2000. Handbook of Bioseparations, Academic Press, San Diego, USA.

- Azevedo EG, Alves AM. 2009. Engenharia de Processos de Separação, IST Press.

- Foust AS, Wenzel LA, Clump CW, Maus L, Andersen LB. 1980. Principles of Unit Operations, 2nd ed., John Wiley & Sons, USA.

- Kennedy JF, Cabral JMS (eds.). 1993. Recovery Processes for Biological Materials, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester.

- Seader JD, Henley EJ, Roper DK. 2010. Separation Process Principles, John Wiley & Sons, USA.

- Stephanopoulos G (ed.). 1993. Biotechnology - A Multi-Volume Comprehensive Treatise, 2nd ed., Vol. 3, VCH, Weinheim.



ECTS Credits



  • Práticas e Laboratórios - 45 hours
  • Teórico-Práticas - 15 hours