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Module BSM-4105:
Env. & Indust. Biotechnology

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Prof Peter Golyshin

Overall aims and purpose

Please note: This module is only available to students on College of Natural Sciences Degree Programmes.

This module is designed to allow students to appreciate the contribution of microorganisms to large scale industrial processes.

Course content

This module will address aspects of environmental and industrial biotechnology including Industrial microbial biotechnology, Microbial oil degradation, Degradation of chlorinated organic pollutants, Metagenomics, Metal-microbe interactions, Biomining, Acid Mine Drainage, Mineral bioprocessing and Bioremediation.

Assessment Criteria


An excellent understanding of the subject matter delivered during the course, with virtually no omissions and errors both in the exam answers and the presentation of the practical report. The level of English should be very good and there should be some evidence of external reading.


A good understanding of the subject matter delivered during the course, with few omissions and errors both in the exam answers and the presentation of the practical report. The level of English should be adequate.


A basic understanding of the subject matter delivered during the course, with omissions and errors both in the exam answers and the presentation of the practical report. There may be significant errors in the use of English

Learning outcomes

  1. An understanding of Industrial microbial biotechnology.

  2. Knowledge of microbial oil degradation: pollution sources, microorganisms and processes.

  3. Understanding of the strategies utilised for marine oil degradation and enhanced oil recovery

  4. Appreciation and understanding of the use of metagenomics as a new tool of biotechnology.

  5. Knowledge of Metal-microbe interactions

  6. Knowledge of Biomining- prinicples and practice.

  7. Knowledge of Acid Mine Drainage- nature, origin and chemical treatment.

  8. Understanding of principles of biotechnological processes for production of industrially valuable compounds and products (biopolymers, antibiotics, vitamins, etc.)

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Description of the pilot-scale process for production of added-value compound or product 40
Formal Examination 60

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Students will be instructed on the preparation of reports for individual case studies for production of added value compounds at the pilot scale using the facilities available at the Mona production site

Private study

Students will also be directed to the relevant primary literature, book sections and internet resources, which they will be expected to read during the allocated private study time.


The 10 Lectures will cover all aspects of the learning outcomes for this module.


Visiting Mona Biocomposites Centre production facility, learning principal hardware, equipment and logistics for pilot-scale production of added value products, collection of information for private study


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • Develop and identify research question(s) and/or hypotheses as the basis for investigation.
  • Conduct fieldwork and/or laboratory work competently with awareness of appropriate risk assessment and ethical considerations
  • Apply subject knowledge to the understanding and addressing of problems.
  • Collect, analyse and interpret primary and/or secondary data using appropriate qualitative and/or quantitative techniques.
  • Engagement with current developments in the biosciences and their application.
  • Appreciation of the complexity and diversity of life processes through the study of organisms.
  • Undertake field and/or laboratory studies of living systems.
  • Undertake practical work to ensure competence in basic experimental skills.
  • Demonstrate awareness of the importance of risk assessment and relevant legislation


Resource implications for students


Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: