Key information

Next planned course: Fall 2021
Location: NMBU
Course responsible: Svein Jarl Horn

Grading: Written assignment & presentation (pass/fail)
Credits: 5 ECTS


Students should register to BioCat, as well as:

  • Email with your intention to register
  • NMBU students should register using StudentWeb
  • Non-NMBU must apply for guest status


In the emerging bioeconomy there is a need to develop novel processes for converting biomass to a range of products, a concept often referred to as biorefining. In this regard, the application of biocatalysis is a key technology.

A biocatalytic process encompass any process that use enzymes for converting a feedstock to a product. Biocatalysis may be carried out by single enzymes, enzyme cocktails, pure cultures of microbial cells (fermentation) or microbial communities. This course will give the student a thorough understanding of enzymes, with a particular emphasis on how biocatalysis can be applied in industrial scale processes. This will include topics such as industrial enzyme production, production of second generation bioethanol, feed and food applications, and biogas production.

Lectures topics

  • Introduction-bioeconomy
  • Feedstock-lignocellulose and other waste streams
  • Sources of biocatalysts
  • Enzymes –the fundamentals
  • Industrial enzyme production
  • Fermentation
  • Microbial oils
  • Microbial communities and biogas
  • Pretreatment and enzymatic degradation of lignocellulosic biomass
  • Food and feed applications
  • Industry presentations

Work requirement

Self-study of relevant journal papers, lectures, written report on a selected topic, and oral presentation of report.

Example course plan: C6 BioCat Applied Biocatalysis and Biorefining

Exam and evaluation

Presentation of written report. Pass/fail evaluation on presentation and written report.