Reactor Technology (2024)

Course manager

Simon Craige

Semester schedule

Autumn (13-week period)



Language of instruction


Course type



Competences corresponding to the participation in the courses Physical chemistry, Chemical engineering, Chemical unit operations, Mathematics 1, and Statistics.


The process industry comprises e.g. the chemical, biochemical and pharmaceutical industries and parts of the food industry. The processes applied within this industry are combined by a number of partial processes. These partial processes can be split up into unit operations (physical processes) and processes involving chemical reactions. The objective of the course is to provide the student with basic knowledge about the concept of reactor technology and engineering for the purpose of participating in the design, operation, and optimisation of chemical and biochemical reactors.


  • The construction and application of reactor systems

    • Reactor system design

      • Mechanical design
      • Process design (bioreactor type, sixe, and configuration)
      • Sterile barriers
      • SIP/CIP
      • Batch versus continuous process
      • Reusable versus single-use reactors
      • Aerobic and anaerobic
      • Utilities

    • Operational

      • Control/instrumentation
      • Mass balance
      • Energy consumption
      • Yield optimization/cost optimization

  • Ideal reactor models, comprising:

    • Plug-flow
    • Continuous Stirred Tank Reactors (CSTRs)
    • Ideal stirred batch reactor
    • Ideal fed-batch

  • Feed flows, reactor kinetics, and product yields
  • Mass transfer, diffusion, conversion, rate laws, stoichiometry
  • Mathematical models of ideal reactors
  • Calculating and modelling of ideal reactors
  • Elements that may affect the process, comprising process terms and equipment
  • Microbial performance and adption in bioreactors
  • Upscaling of biomanufacturing production

Learning targets

On completion of the course, the student is expected to be able to:


  • Explain the construction of bioreactor engineering systems and their application in the production processes
  • Explain ideal reactor models (plug-flow, CSTR, ideal stirred batch reactor, and ideal fed-batch)
  • Explain the interaction between feed flow, reaction kinetics, reactor models, and product yield
  • Explain what stresses a microbe may encounter in a bioreactor
  • Explain how stresses are used in biomanufacturing to improve production


  • Prepare mathematical models for ideal reactors, and make relevant calculations on the basis of these models
  • Analyze how a biomanufacturing processmay be affected by upscaling


  • Evaluate how changed process design, operating conditions, and equipment will affect the overall process effectiveness and efficiency
  • Analyze how a biomanufacturing process may be affected by upscaling

Teaching method

Lectures and problem solving.

Qualifications for examination participation

  • Fulfilment of the requirements for compulsory participation as given in  the study programme part 2.4.
  • Participation in all planned company visits
  • Participation in all planned teaching activities involving external lecturers
  • Submission and approval of all written assignments

All activities and deliverables shall be performed and submitted subject to the guidelines set out by the course manager. 

Examination and aids

Written examination. Duration of examination: 4 hours.

Permitted aids: Textbook, notes and mathematical programs/spreadsheets. No access to the internet.

The form of examination at a 3rd attempt may vary from the above.




The 7-point grading scale