Belfort Group

Biomolecular Separations Research Group
Howard P. Isermann Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
and Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy, NY 12180, USA


Georges Belfort, Russell Sage Professor of Chemical Engineering, teaches the following courses (spread of a three year cycle)

Advanced Fluid Mechanics

CHME-6510; Every Spring
Text: Advanced Transport Analysis
Level: Graduate

Diffusion and conduction of mass and heat are analyzed in great detail together with momentum transport. Similarity and separation of variables techniques, regular, singular transform and the finite Fourier transform methods are introduced and used to solve transport boundary value problems. Weekly homework problem sets are an integral part of the course.

Advanced Membrane Concepts

CHME-6510; -6410; Every third Fall
Text: No text - use class notes
Level: Graduate and Undergraduate

Both the chemistry and transport properties of synthetic membrane processes are covered, including the synthesis of polymeric and ceramic membranes, the kinetics of asymmetric membrane formation, the mass transport across and through synthetic membranes, the use of membranes for liquid, gas, biomedical, biotechnology, and fuel cell applications. Invited industrial lecturers participate and a demonstration of membrane formation though film casting is given. A term paper on a membrane-related topic is prepared by the graduate students.

Introduction to (Molecular) Separations Engineering and (Molecular) Separations Engineering

CHME-4961 and 6420; Every third Fall
Text: No text - use class notes
Level: Graduate and Undergraduate

This course on scaled-down separations covers the principles of separating molecules and includes: fusion affinity genetic-based methods, sorption processes, electrochemical methods and mass spctroscopic methods. A more traditional course involving sedimentation, coagulation, adsorption, membrane separations, and chromatography has been taught in the past and may be taught again. A term paper on a separations topic is prepared by the graduate students.

Downstream Processing

CHME-4400 & 6470; Every third Fall
Text: No text - use class notes
Level: Graduate and Undergraduate

The technical status of the biotechnology industry and the need for concentrating and recovering desirable molecules with high yield and purity at large scale forms the basis of this course. This course is focuses on the description and analysis and integration of bioreactors and unit separation processes for the production and recovery of desirable molecules involved in the biotechnology industry. A term paper on the recovery of a specific desirable molecule (i.e. vaccine, IgG, interleukin 2 etc.) is prepared by the graduate students.

Senior Laboratory for Chemical Engineers: A Lab entitled "Synthetic Membrane Concentration using Crossflow Ultrafiltration"

CHME-4150 Every Fall
Text: Two reprints from W. Koros and R. Van Reis et al
Level: Undergraduate

CHME 4150 and ENVE 4160, Every Fall; Text: Two reprints from W. Koros and R. Van Reis et al fill in full references; Level: Undergraduate;
Two laboratory ultrafiltration systems are used simultaneously to concentrate bovine serum albumin at two different feed concentrations (for a total of four concentrations) using regenerated cellulose membranes. The main aim of the experiments are to provide sufficient experimental data for the lab report analysis in which the students determine the parameters for plant operation under constant BSA concentration at the membrane-solution interface (Cwall). A group of four students analyzes the four separate experiments to produce the optimal conditions (parameters) for constant Cwall operation.