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Book Review Biotechnology. A Comprehensive Treatise in 8 Volumes. Edited by H.-J. Rehm and G. Reed. Vol. 2. Fundamentals of Biochemical Engineering. Volume Editor H. Brauer

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are not restricted to any single class of materials but are
relevant to many different topics. An advantage of this
“dual” volume approach is that it reduces the topical redundancy and permits more space to be devoted to the detailed description of specific products and processes.
One major difference in the 5th edition is that it is in
English rather than German. This should greatly expand
the audience and enhance its utility to scientists and engineers outside of the European technological community.
This decision by the editorial board recognizes the truly
international nature of industrial chemistry and technology. This trend is reflected not only by the composition of
the editorial board, but also in the selection of contributing
authors. For each topic discussed a specific location of
previous and continuing expertise was selected and specific authors were chosen from that site. Where no single
firm could be identified as dominant, authors have been
selected from a number of competitive firms. This policy
assures high quality, topical coverage and correctly recognizes the multinational contributions to Science and Technology.
I have personally reviewed the first volume of the 5th
edition and was favorably impressed. The text is remarkably error free and maintains the high quality and standards
of the previous editions. The subject matter selected for
discussion is well organized and is treated in considerable
detail. For highly specialized topics enough background
data is provided to satisfy even the casual reader. Volume
1A provides a reasonably detailed and consistent treatment of twenty six separate topics ranging from Abrasives
to Aluminum Oxide. All major compounds and most important derivatives are accompanied by the appropriate
chemical abstract registry number to facilitate subsequent
in-depth literature searches. Industrially important chemicals such as acetic acid, acetic anhydride, acetone, acetaldehyde, acetylene, etc. all receive a thorough treatment covering physical and chemical properties, manufacture and
production engineering, major derivatives, reactivity, toxicology and industrial safety, transportation restrictions,
economics, etc. The section on acetylene is particularly
rich in details as befits a material with such a long chemical history and industrial importance. I was pleased to find
a brief discussion of the formation of linear polymers by
Ziegler Natta techniques, since these materials and their
derivatives are of current scientific and industrial interest.
Due to the industrial importance and diverse physical and
chemical properties of aluminum compounds, this section
is divided into a series of separate discussions of aluminum metal, aluminum alloys, inorganic aluminum compounds, organoaluminum derivatives and aluminum oxide. The last contribution describes the commercial uses of
aluminum oxide except for its abrasive applications which
are treated extensively in a separate section. In recognition
of their considerable pharmacological importance there is
a section on alkaloid derivatives. The major alkaloid
groups are reviewed and many specific examples within
each group are described. This section, which is quite long,
is adequately indexed both by class and by compound. The
organization of the sections dealing with acrylic materials
(i.e. acrylic acid, acrylates, acrylonitrile) is unusual in that
the respective polymers, which comprise the major industrial products, are not included in the same Lolume. While
this makes the reading a little discontinuous, the location
of the respective polymers and copolymers is adequately
cross-referenced at the end of each subject article. One
possible advantage of grouping the individual polymers
under a broader more general polymer heading (e.g. fiberssynthetic organic, rubber-synthetic etc.) is that one can
more easily see how each individual polymer product fits
into the overall picture of a particular commercial polymer
field.
Although I am admittedly not an expert in all of the
twenty-six fields covered in volume lA, I found all of the
contributions to be quite readable and complete. Consistent with stated editorial board policy, the authorship of the
first volume is internationally distributed to locations of
demonstrated expertise. Although this often results in
somewhat varying emphasis, the authors have all conformed to the basic editorial format which gives the volume consistency in spite of the great diversity of topics.
Regarding the format, I found the topical outline which
precedes each contribution to be particularly valuable. If
so desired, allows the casual reader to go easily and directly to sections of interest without wading through the
entire article. This is particularly useful for someone who
is interested in surveying related properties of a diverse
group of materials. The text of each article is compiled in
an appealing manner which seems to provide “something
for everyone” whether they are interested in physical
and/or chemical properties, chemical reactivity, production engineering, industrial safety or economics. I was particularly impressed with the extensive reference list provided for each topical discussion. In general these lists are
composed of a mixture of accessible books, journals, patents, trade publications, etc. many of which are surprisingly current. In this regard, it was not unusual to find references as recent as 1982-83, which is somewhat unusual
for a volume of this size. This currency will become increasingly important in future volumes dealing with
emerging technologies in rapidly evolving fields such as
genetic engineering, biotechnology, photoresists and microlithography, electronic materials etc., where reviews are
often outdated by the time they appear.
In summary, I find that volume 1A of the 5th edition of
Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology upholds
in every fashion the high standards and traditions previously established. The concept is such that the articles
provide something for both the casual reader as well as the
skilled practitioner. The international authorship is a welcome innovation which is consistent with the multinational
contributions to science and technology. The overall quality of this series is such that no Science and Engineering
library should be without it.
Robert D. Miller [NB 756 IE]
IBM Almaden Research Center
San Jose, CA (USA)
Biotechnology. A Comprehensive Treatise in 8 Volumes.
Edited by H.-J. Rehm and G. Reed. Vol. 2. Fundamentals of Biochemical Engineering. Volume Editor: H .
Bruuer. VCH Verlagsgesellschaft, Weinheim 1985. xvi,
819 pp., bound, subscription price: DM 425.00.-ISBN
3-527-25764-0
Biotechnology is an interdisciplinary field, the progress
of which relies on close cooperation among professionals
from various sub-disciplines within the areas of biology,
chemistry, and engineering. The aim of this volume of the
series“’ is to outline the fundamentals of biochemical engineering. It deals with the planning, design, and develop[*] Cf. Angew. Chem. I n ( . Ed. Engi. 24 (1985) 436.
764
Angew. Chem. Int Ed. Engl. 25 11986) No. 8
ment, as well as the optimization and operation of biochemical processes.
The volume contains 30 chapters in all, grouped in 5 sections. A relatively difficult philosophical question is,
“what constitutes fundamentals for a diverse field like biochemical engineering”. The editors seem to have decided
to place a very strong emphasis on the fundamental concepts and the mathematics of transport phenomena, reaction kinetics, and reactors. About two-thirds of the book i s
devoted to these topics. The remaining one-third addresses
the field from the practical point of view. Some very useful
concepts are covered in stoichiometry, mechanical stress,
measurement and control, and some selected unit operations. The quality of all the contributions is excellent; but
at the risk of sounding parochial, I should share some additional observations. This volume is authored almost exclusively by experts from West Germany (19 of the 22 authors). In addition, most of the authors come from an academic environment (1 7 out of 22).
The first nine chapters give a review of momentum,
mass, and heat transport phenomena, similarly as is to be
found in Transport Phenomena by R. B. Bird, W. E. Sfewart. and E. N . Lightfoot (Wiley 1960). The treatment is
concise, but without omission of essential details. The philosophy and theory of reaction engineering form the subject of the following eight chapters. Concepts such as enzyme kinetics, batch and continuous fermentation kinetics,
and reaction and mass transfer interactions are treated.
Admittedly a difficult task to accomplish, yet it is a pity
that practical examples of where and how these concepts
are used are not presented to the reader in this volume.
Bioreactors are discussed in seven chapters. The present
volume provides a n extensive coverage of the “loop reactor”: interestingly, the type of reactor shown on the jacket
of the volume. Loop reactors are typically fluidized reactors with at least one definitely directed circulation flow or
“loop”. The reader will note that there are some overlaps
in what are considered “bubble” reactors, “tower” reactors, and “loop” reactors. Three chapters deal with the
fundamental mathematics of stirred vessel reactors, bubble
column reactors, and biochemical loop reactors. Fluid
flow behavior, heat and mass transfer aspects, and gas dispersion are analyzed from a sound conceptual viewpoint.
Several other chapters build on these fundamentals and
provide a (somewhat redundant) comprehensive review of
about 18 impressive installations, many in the Federal Republic of Germany. Examples are, the Imperial Chemical
Industry’s 2000-3000m3 (500000 to 800000 US gal) volume reactors for Single Cell Protein production; and
smaller units of 20-40 m3 at Mitsubishi and HoechstUhde. Very large systems (several are 18-30m high and
20-30 m diam) for wastewater treatment are the Hoechst
BIOHOCH reactors and the Bayer “Tower Biology”. Another concept presented is the “reciprocating jet” reactor
which has shown promise in pilot-scale tests.
There are places in this volume where a fine attempt is
made to link theory and practice. An example is a chapter
o n modeling and scale-up. Some important concepts are
presented which are useful in determining whether kinetics
or mass transfer is decisive in scale-up or other experiments. Such aspects deserve even more coverage.
Several chapters in this volume are of great practical value, and the editors are to be commended for the topics
they have selected. There is an excellent chapter on the effect of mechanical stress on microbial cultures which also
includes some micrographs. Gas solubility and stoichiometry are presented in two useful chapters for the reader inAngew. Chem Int. Ed. Engl. 25 11986) No. 8
terested in the practice of biochemical engineering. One
should not, however, expect an in-depth treatment of these
areas in this “Fundamentals” volume.
It must be mentioned that a chapter is included on “how
to” run comparative tests for fermenters based on the recommendations of the DECHEMA working committee for
biochemical engineering. Preparation of fermentation media is reviewed in another chapter that includes some 43
tables of information. The literature is a good blend of that
from the US, Europe, and the USSR; and the chapter in
itself constitutes a good practical starting point for the
reader. In a chapter on “recovery operations,” an account
is given of those operations which are required in order to
transform the (generally dilute) whole cell broth from the
fermenter into the final product. Centrifugation and liquid-liquid extraction are dealt with very satisfactorily;
however, the treatment of the other “downstream” operations is only cursory.
Finally, the editors are also to be commended for having
included chapters on sterilization, measurement and control, as well as on process control and optimization. Here,
the reader should expect an overview of the concepts involved and not a “how to” or “how it is done” discussion.
In summary, this volume provides a very good perspective on the kinds of activities in which the academicians
and practitioners of biochemical engineering are engaged.
The publication of this volume also takes us past the halfway point in this ambitious series. I wish those involved in
its compilation continued success in this arduous task.
Bhavender P. Sharma [NB 757 IE]
Genencor, South San Francisco, CA (USA)
Dictionary of Organometallic Compounds. Edited by J .
Buckingham. Chapman and Hall, London 1984. 3 Volumes, 2576 pp., L 575.00.--ISBN 0-412-24710-0
Organometallic chemistry has increasingly developed
into a discipline that, rather than being of interest only to
the specialist, now attracts general attention. Therefore the
appearance of an extensive compilation of the most important organometallic compounds, the brief description of
their synthesis, characteristics, and physical properties, as
well as (exemplary) applications, is of great interest. Entries on approximately 15000 compounds of the maingroup and transition metals, including f-block elements,
are presented in the Dictionary of Organometallic Compounds in a well organized and graphically clear manner.
The editor showed his skill in not giving the authors of individual chapters any fixed rules for the selection of the
compounds included. Thus, a balanced and useful presentation of the (sometimes very) different compound classes
of the various metals was attained.
In general, the molecular formula, the name (often supplemented with common synonyms), the Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number, and a very clearly drawn
structural formula are given for every compound. These are
followed by an enumeration of the more important physical and chemical properties. References to possible stereoisomers as well as derivatives (for which important data
are in turn given) are well chosen. An important feature is
that information concerning the toxicity and possible dangers of working with the given substance is provided. Finally, reference is made to important original papers and
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