CBE687 Biocatalysts UITM Assignment Sample Malaysia

CBE687 Biocatalysts is an advanced course offered by the Faculty of Chemical Engineering at the Universiti Teknologi MARA (UITM). The course is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of biocatalysts and their application in various industrial processes. Biocatalysts are biological catalysts, including enzymes and microorganisms, that can accelerate chemical reactions and increase the efficiency of industrial processes.

Throughout the course, students will be introduced to the principles and applications of biocatalysis, including enzyme kinetics, bioreactor design, and bioprocess optimization. The course also covers topics such as enzyme immobilization, enzyme engineering, and the biotransformation of natural products.

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Here, we will provide some assignment tasks. These are:

Assignment Task 1: Describe the characteristics, reactions, and applications of biocatalysts in various industries.

Biocatalysts are enzymes or whole cells that catalyze biochemical reactions. They are natural catalysts that can be found in living organisms such as plants, animals, and microorganisms. Biocatalysts have several important characteristics that make them desirable for use in various industries.


  1. High specificity: Biocatalysts have a high degree of specificity towards their substrates, which means they only catalyze specific reactions.
  2. Mild reaction conditions: Biocatalysts work under mild conditions of temperature and pH, which makes them more environmentally friendly than chemical catalysts.
  3. Renewable and sustainable: Biocatalysts are renewable and sustainable, as they can be produced from natural sources and are biodegradable.
  4. High efficiency: Biocatalysts can perform reactions with high efficiency, enabling higher product yields with fewer side products.
  5. Versatility: Biocatalysts can catalyze a wide range of reactions, making them useful in many industries.


Biocatalysts can catalyze a variety of reactions, including oxidation, reduction, hydrolysis, and condensation. Some examples of biocatalytic reactions include:

  1. Hydrolysis of cellulose to produce biofuels
  2. Oxidation of alcohols to produce ketones or aldehydes
  3. Reduction of ketones to produce alcohols
  4. Condensation reactions to produce amino acids and peptides
  5. Stereospecific transformations to produce chiral compounds


Biocatalysts have many applications in various industries, including:

  1. Pharmaceutical industry: Biocatalysts are used to synthesize active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) with high purity and stereoselectivity.
  2. Food industry: Biocatalysts are used to produce food additives, flavorings, and enzymes for food processing.
  3. Chemical industry: Biocatalysts are used to produce fine chemicals, such as chiral intermediates, with high efficiency and selectivity.
  4. Biotechnology industry: Biocatalysts are used to produce biopolymers, such as biofuels and bioplastics, from renewable resources.
  5. Environmental industry: Biocatalysts are used in bioremediation processes to degrade pollutants and in wastewater treatment plants to remove contaminants.

Overall, biocatalysts have proven to be a valuable tool in a wide range of industries due to their specificity, efficiency, and sustainability. As more industries strive to reduce their environmental impact and improve their sustainability, the use of biocatalysts is likely to become increasingly widespread.

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Assignment Task 2: Outline the process, reactions and kinetics involved in biocatalytic process in various applications.

Biocatalysis is the use of enzymes and other biological catalysts to carry out chemical reactions. These reactions occur in a variety of applications, including pharmaceuticals, food processing, and industrial chemical production. Here is an overview of the process, reactions, and kinetics involved in biocatalytic processes in these applications:

Process: Biocatalytic processes typically involve the following steps:

  • Selection and optimization of the biocatalyst: Enzymes and other biological catalysts are selected based on their ability to catalyze the desired reaction. The biocatalyst is then optimized by adjusting reaction conditions (e.g., pH, temperature, substrate concentration) to maximize activity and stability.
  • Enzyme immobilization: The biocatalyst may be immobilized to increase its stability and facilitate its reuse.
  • Reaction: The biocatalyst is added to a reaction mixture containing the substrate(s) and other reaction components. The reaction proceeds under optimized conditions, typically in a batch or continuous flow reactor.
  • Product separation and purification: The product is separated from the reaction mixture and purified by various methods, such as distillation, chromatography, or crystallization.

Reactions: Biocatalytic reactions can be classified into several categories, including:

  • Oxidation: Enzymes such as oxidases, dehydrogenases, and peroxidases are used to catalyze the oxidation of substrates.
  • Reduction: Enzymes such as reductases and hydrogenases are used to catalyze the reduction of substrates.
  • Hydrolysis: Enzymes such as proteases, lipases, and amylases are used to catalyze the hydrolysis of substrates.
  • Transamination: Enzymes such as transaminases are used to catalyze the transfer of an amino group from one molecule to another.

Kinetics: The kinetics of biocatalytic reactions are described by parameters such as the reaction rate, substrate affinity, and enzyme specificity. These parameters can be measured experimentally and used to optimize reaction conditions and predict reaction outcomes. Kinetic models can also be developed to simulate biocatalytic reactions and design new biocatalysts.

Assignment Task 3: Propose the most suitable design of biocatalyst processes and applications.

The design of biocatalyst processes and applications will depend on a variety of factors, including the specific enzyme or organism being used, the nature of the reaction, and the desired outcome. Here are some general guidelines that can help in designing effective biocatalyst processes:

  1. Choose the right biocatalyst: Selecting the appropriate biocatalyst is critical to the success of the process. Factors to consider include the enzyme or organism’s specificity, stability, and activity under the desired conditions.
  2. Optimize the reaction conditions: The reaction conditions should be optimized to maximize the activity of the biocatalyst. This can involve adjusting parameters such as temperature, pH, substrate concentration, and reaction time.
  3. Use appropriate immobilization techniques: Immobilization of biocatalysts can improve their stability, activity, and reusability. Different immobilization techniques, such as adsorption, covalent binding, or encapsulation, can be used depending on the properties of the biocatalyst and the reaction.
  4. Use appropriate reactor design: The reactor design should be tailored to the specific biocatalyst and reaction. Different types of reactors, such as batch, continuous, or fed-batch, can be used to optimize the reaction performance.
  5. Monitor and control the reaction: Monitoring and controlling the reaction parameters, such as substrate and product concentrations, can help optimize the biocatalyst process and prevent unwanted byproducts.
  6. Scale-up and commercialization: Scaling up the biocatalyst process from the laboratory to the industrial scale requires careful consideration of factors such as reactor design, reaction conditions, and downstream processing.

Some common applications of biocatalysts include the production of fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and biofuels, as well as in bioremediation and food processing. The choice of biocatalyst and process design will depend on the specific application and the desired outcome.

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