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Book Review Volume 2. The Principles of Biotechnology Engineering Considerations. Volume editors C. L. Cooney and A. E. Humphrey

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isolation and preservation of microorganisms. The discussion of methods for genetic modification of microorganisms and in vitro recombination of DNA relates mainly to
prokaryotes. Eukaryotic cloning systems for mammalian
cells (SV 40), yeasts (ars system) and plants (Ti plasmid,
cauliflower mosaic virus) are briefly mentioned. It is perhaps appropriate that very little space is devoted to the secretion of proteins at this juncture since this topic is discussed in detail in the second section of the volume in association with extracellular enzymes. Most of the first section is taken u p by ten contributions on the subject of microbial growth. Aspects addressed include nutritional requirements of microorganisms, nutrient uptake, nutrient
media, modes of growth of microorganisms, growth kinetics and mixed cultures, with special reference to prokaryotes. Animal and plant cell culture technologies are discussed and compared.
I n the second section of Volume I , particular emphasis is
on the subject of microbial metabolism. Examples discussed include aerobic and anaerobic metabolism of glucose, and metabolism of C , compounds like methane, methanol and carbon dioxide. In the chapter that follows attention is drawn to the biotechnological importance of microorganisms that function as biocatalysts in methanogenesis.
A discussion of the different pathways involved in the
microbial metabolism of aromatic compounds leads u p to
the question concerning microbial degradation of environmental chemicals. Readers wishing to have a comprehensive overview of this subject would have been still better
served if the cited literature had included publications
from a still wider circle of leading research workers.
The metabolism of polymeric substrates is illustrated by
a description of the biosynthesis and degradation of fatty
acids and lipids. Autotrophic metabolic pathways are
treated by the presentation of a comparative description of
patterns of microbial photosynthesis. Other pathways of
electron transfer are also discussed, with bacterial respiratory chains and their regulation serving as an example.
Principles of enzyme technology are explored in chapters
on enzyme kinetics, mechanisms of enzyme catalysis, enzyme evolution and extracellular enzymes. In a contribution on the overproduction of microbial metabolites, the
effects of nutrient limitation, pH and temperature are discussed. The final contribution presented in volume I is devoted to a description of the mechanisms of regulation relevant to metabolite synthesis, in particular prokaryotic
biosynthesis of amino acids.
Olga Salcher
Bayer AG, Wuppertal (FRG)
Volume 2. The Principles of Biotechnology : Engineering
Considerations. Volume editors: C. L. Cooney and A . E.
Humphrey. xv, 632 pp., bound.-ISBN 0-08-0325 10-6
The material in Volume 2 addresses the state of technology in biochemical synthesis and processing. The division
of the 37 chapters contributed by 44 authors into two sections (I. Bioreactor design, operation and control. 2. Upstream and downstream processing) is somewhat unusual
in its organization. Whereas the fermenters, particularly
the more recent developments in instrumentation and systems for fermentation process control, are dealt with in the
first section, discussions on valves and pumps, gas compression, filtration systems, media sterilization, and problems associated with heat management are left until the
second section.
Angew. Chhem In!. Ed. Engl. 26 119871 No. 6
The quality of individual chapters varies greatly. In
Chapter 3, treatment of the very important areas of fermenter design and scale-up is completely inadequate. Criticism must be levelled at this particular contribution for its
repetition of problems that have been described better
elsewhere. The problem of asepsis is dismissed in eleven
lines containing only two literature references in fact dating back to 1969 (!) and 1976 (!), and that of foam in as few
as four lines including just one reference dated 1969 (!). By
comparison, an excellent review of both the principles and
practical applications of aqueous two-phase systems for liquid-liquid extraction of biopolymers is presented in chapter 28.
Bioreactor systems for plant and animal cells are addressed in two contributions but not discussed in any
depth. There is not a single diagrammatic representation of
a bioreactor shown fully equipped with valves, piping systems and sensors. On the other hand, a number of chapters
describe the principles and state of the art of some downstream processing unit operations. But just as in the chapters on fermentation, the problems of asepsis are almost
completely neglected in the discussions of the processing
Each of the subjects addressed in the different chapters
of this volume will now be reviewed briefly:
The first two chapters deal with the basics of transport
phenomena in bioprocesses-oxygen transfer and heat
transfer. Following an elaboration of the physical aspects,
correlations with the oxygen consumption of the growing
organisms are discussed. Purely biological problems like
the critical oxygen concentration are examined, likewise
questions relating to the structures of pellets and their
supply with oxygen. As already indicated, it is considered
that the chapter on fermenter design and scale-up is to all
intents and purposes a nonentity. Fragments of this topic
are discussed in other contributions.
Chapter 4 describes imperfectly mixed bioreactor systems, and examines the effects of micromixing and macromixing on bioprocesses. This is followed in Chapter 5
by a discussion of different types of nonmechanically agitated bioreactor systems some of which have been adopted
for industrial applications; this chapter concludes with a
comparison of the oxygen transfer efficiencies of different
bioreactors. The next five chapters focus on dynamic modelling of fermentation systems, instrumentation for monitoring and controlling bioreactors, instrumentation for fermentation process control, use of computers for the control of fermentation processes, and computerized data
analysis for on-line process applications. Here, too, accord
among the authors would have been desirable to avoid duplication of material and to include instead more information on recent trends in measurement and control technologies.
The next three chapters (1 1 to 13) are devoted to techniques for immobilizing enzymes and cells. Based on comprehensive coverage of the latest literature data, these
chapters not only describe the very large number of methods that have been developed but also explain why, in
spite of the high potential of immobilized enzyme and cell
technology, only relatively few of these elegant techniques
have found industrial application.
The second section of Volume 2 begins with a chapter on
transport and handling of bioprocess liquids and solids
and on technologies for the mixing of these materials. Different types of pumps, valves (rather old data), piping systems and mixing equipment are discussed in detail. This is
followed by two chapters o n gas compression and filtra589
tion systems, including coverage of test procedures for air
filtration. The next chapter discusses problems associated
with media sterilization. The treatment of heat management in fermentation processes in the chapter that follows
is considered to be inadequate.
The discussion of the unit operations of downstream
processing begins with the disruption of microbial cells. It
is considered that industrial use of disruption techniques
could have been given greater coverage. The chapter on
centrifugation reflects the state of technology in this area;
it even addresses sterility and containment problems and
puts forward suggestions for their solution.
Filtration processes are discussed in five chapters. Since
crossflow filtration is the process generally used today, it is
accorded considerable space. The discussion of membrane
types and membrane methods is also vivified by examples
of industrial applications. Ultrafiltration is dealt with in
two large chapters in which the theory of the process, its
economics and its biotechnological applications are discussed. The literature references on this fast growing technique are u p to date.
Liquid-liquid extractions are discussed in two chapters.
The first one in which examples relating to the production
of antibiotics are given, is not of a particularly satisfactory
standard because apart from the discussion of penicillin
extraction processes, it does not present any recent data on
extraction with organic solvents. The second of these two
chapters reviews the latest developments in aqueous phase
systems, contains a large number of tables giving examples
of applications and listing methods, and discusses scale-up
of the technology for the isolation of biopolymers.
The use of ion exchangers for the recovery of antibiotics
and proteins is addressed in two relatively short chapters.
The contributions on the unit operations of chromatography discuss methodologies and the constraints on their use
at industrial level.
The section on upstream and downstream processing
concludes with a discussion of the distillation system as a
critical cost factor in the recovery of ethanol, a chapter on
supercritical fluid extraction, and a contribution on the
state of technology in electrodialysis.
It is considered that this volume, in its treatment of fermentation technology, fails to match the quality of comparable standard works. On the other hand, some of the
unit operations addressed in the chapters on downstream
processing are described in an excellent manner.
Wulf Crueger
Bayer AG, Wuppertal (FRG)
Volume 3. The Practice of Biotechnology: Current Commodity Products. Volume editors: H . W. Blanch, S .
Drew, and D. I . C . Wung. xxv, 1136 pp., bound.-ISBN
0-08-03251 1-4
Following the discussion of the biological and engineering fundamentals of biotechnology in the first two volumes, Volume 3 provides a comprehensive overview of the
products manufactured by biotechnological processes.
The book consists of fifty chapters organized in three
sections. The first section describes the processes employed for manufacturing healthcare products. As one
might expect, the largest amount of space in this section is
devoted to processes for the production of antibiotics.
Subjects addressed in other contributions include production and purification technologies for the development of
anticancer agents; functions, production and uses of siderophores ; bioconversions of steroids ; microbial production of human proteins by recombinant DNA technology.
The inclusion in this section of additional chapters on the
production of vitamins, vaccines and immune globulins
would have completed the spectrum of products in the
healthcare sector.
In the second section of volume 3, processes are presented for the production of food and beverage products.
The main emphasis is on descriptions of the classical technologies for the production of alcoholic beverages, cheese,
fermented dairy products, bakers’ yeast, and amino acids.
Other topics addressed are biomass production and the
processes employed in the Far East for the production of
traditional fermented soybean foods.
The third and last section is devoted to those products
which, in terms of quantity, play a key role as startingmaterials for the production of industrial chemicals (organic
acids), biochemicals (hydrolytic enzymes) and fuels (ethanol).
Each of the three sections begins with a chapter dealing
with the current market situation and the general problems
of project selection and development in the particular
product category. The following chapters furnish information on development and optimization of processes for the
manufacture of individual products. Readers are provided,
inter alia, with data on the biology and physiology of the
microorganisms, on biosynthetic pathways, on production
processes and product recovery (usually illustrated by diagrams), on production costs, and on the limitations of the
different processes. These aspects are treated at varying
depth by the respective authors. Notwithstanding, in its entirety the presented information provides a most useful
overview of the state of research for anyone wishing to acquire a general insight into one of the areas covered. To
obtain knowledge of much greater depth, readers are provided at the end of each chapter with a comprehensive bibliography generally containing references also to recent
The authors of the third volume have succeeded convincingly in demonstrating how biological and engineering
principles are translated into industrial processes so that
this volume usefully complements the first two of the set.
In view of the wealth of information it contains and the
manner in which it is presented, it is considered that this
volume compares most favorably with other standard
works on industrial microbiology, and it can be recommended to anyone seeking a reference work on this field.
Worfram Andersch
Bayer AG, Leverkusen (FRG)
Volume 4. The Practice of Biotechnology : Speciality Products and Service Activities. Volume editors: C. W. Robinson and J . A . Howell. xxix, 1308 pp., bound.-ISBN 008-0325 12-2
In contrast to the preceding volumes, the fourth volume
of the set is very heterogeneous in its coverage of subject
matter. Section 1 (Specialized Activities and Potential Applications) presents diverse new biotechnologies and bioprocesses considered to show promise of finding widespread applications in biomedicine, agriculture, process
engineering and analysis. Section 2 addresses legal aspects
of biotechnology, and Section 3 examines problems associated with waste management and pollution control.
Angew. Chem. lnr. Ed. Engl. 26 (1987) No. 6
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