Introduction to the Biochemical and Environmental Engineering Group
The Biochemical and Environmental Engineering Group is led by Prof. Howard Chase. The overall philosophy of the group’s work is based around the application of novel separation techniques to a range of processing problems encountered during biochemical and environmental engineering. The goal is that by simplifying the equipment and reducing the resources needed for the separations, they can be carried out more efficiently and a cheaper cost. Although much of our work involves the conduct of laboratory experiments, we are also interested in theoretical analysis of our systems as a means to identify limiting constraints in the search for process optimisation.
In the biochemical engineering area, novel, and highly selective techniques are being investigated for the separation and purification of biological entities ranging from pharmaceutically- active compounds from plants, through to therapeutic proteins (such as monoclonal antibodies) expressed in recombinant micro-organisms, and up to complex entities such as various types of human cells for subsequent use in regenerative medicine.
In the environmental area, new techniques are being developed for the separation and recovery of valuable chemicals present in wastes such as packaging and used engine oils and tyres. For example we can recover aluminium foil and hydrocarbons from TetraPak cartons.