Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Bachelor

Academic content

Academic content

As a student in the Bachelor’s programme in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, you will work with applied chemistry, which means, that you will not just work with theoretical calculations and model simulation, but also current issues within the field. In all aspects of the programme, the focus is on converting theoretical knowledge into useful applications for problem solving.

During the programme you will work with topics such as:

  • Chemical and bio industrial products
  • Cell biology and biological chemistry
  • Thermodynamics
  • Inorganic and organic chemistry
  • Microbial biotechnology
  • Different materials
  • Heat transfer
  • Mathematical modelling and numerical methods

A large part of your study time will be spent in the laboratory, where you will learn how to plan experiments as well as how you collect and analyse data.

The study programmes at AAU are based on problem based learning and project work, which gives you a unique opportunity to acquire new knowledge and competences at a high academic level in an independent manner. You get to apply theory to practice in your semester projects, which will prepare you better for your future career.

In the first five semesters you will spend half of your study time on courses and course work while the other half of your time will be spent doing a semester project in a small group – possibly in collaboration with the research environment or an external organisation or institution. You and your group will apply theory and method to a relevant problem within the field of your study, with the possibility to include laboratory work.



During the first semester, you will establish basic knowledge within chemical engineering and biotechnology. You will also develop general engineering skills in math and learn how to work and navigate as a modern engineer in larger team projects. Furthermore, you will learn to work safely in the laboratory, evaluate and use appropriate protectives, and handle chemicals and other materials safely.

In your first semester project, the focus is on relevant chemical products in our society and the production process. You will learn how to communicate the problem and your findings in writing, graphically and orally in a coherent way.


  • Problem Based Learning in Science, Technology and Society (5 ECTS)
  • General Chemistry (5 ECTS)
  • Calculus (5 ECTS)


  • Chemical and Bio Industrial Products (10 ECTS)
  • Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology – a Case Study (5 ECTS)

examples of pROJEcT topics

  • Biodiesel
  • Indigo blue as vat dye
  • Biodiesel from microalgae: A possible competitor to petroleum diesel
  • Better living through chemistry: Polyethylene
  • Biopesticides and BT-toxins
  • Preservatives in cosmetics: Preservatives in creams
  • The advantages and complications of penicillin
  • The innovation of chemotherapy as a way of treating cancer
  • Vaccines
  • Aspartame: Investigation of health effects, legislation, and stability
  • Chemical and bio industrial products: Vitamin deficiency in Denmark
  • Fossil fuels: The backbone of the industrialised society

See a 1st semester project: Biodiesel from Microalgae; A Possible Competitor to Petroleum Diesel


In the second semester you will work with cells, dna and enzymes. You will also learn about thermodynamics and how thermodynamics can be applied to understand, describe and solve problems within the field of chemical engineering. Meanwhile you will strengthen your knowledge, understanding and application of mathematical theories and methods.


  • Biological Active Molecules – Introduction to Cell Biology and Biological Chemistry (5 ECTS)
  • Fundamental Chemical Engineering and Thermodynamics (5 ECTS)
  • Linear Algebra (5 ECTS)


  • Chemical Reactions in Natural and Technical Systems (15 ECTS)

examples of pROJEcT topics

  • Production methods of caffeine
  • Electrochemical oxidation as a tertiary treatment process for Greywater Recycling in the EU
  • Optimising household biogas production concerning rural areas in developing countries
  • Optimisation of lidocaine
  • Paracetamol: A widely used painkiller
  • Alleviating the impact of wastewater on the environment: Removal of nutrients by struvite precipitation
  • Optimisation of the steam distillation method for extracting natural aroma compounds


During the third semester, you will apply your knowledge of organic chemistry in technical, biological and ecological contexts. You will learn about basic concepts of probability theory, statistics and quality control, and you will be introduced to relevant statistical software for solving problems in statistics and quality control. The third semester is also characterised by experiments and you will develop important laboratory skills.


  • Methods in Quantitative Chemical Analysis (5 ECTS)
  • Inorganic and Organic Chemistry (5 ECTS)
  • Applied Statistics (5 ECTS)


  • Analysis of Chemical Systems (15 ECTS)

examples of pROJEcT topics

  • Analysis of contaminants in the AAU rainwater reservoir
  • Investigation of the pollution of Grindsted Engsø
  • Reliability of XRF for heavy metal analysis in contaminated soil
  • Biorock: First tries in cold water
  • Heavy metals in paint
  • Arsenic and iron in drinking water


On the fourth semester, you choose one of three project topics to focus on. In the courses you will learn how to describe and solve problems in for example separation process engineering and how to utilise knowledge about biochemical molecules and processes. Furthermore, you will work with the properties and applicability of materials for engineering purposes. The fourth semester, like the third, is also characterised by experiments, and you will develop important laboratory skills.


  • Chemical Thermodynamics and Separation Process Engineering (5 ECTS)
  • Microbial Biotechnology (5 ECTS)
  • Material Science and Material Selection (5 ECTS)


Choose one topic

  • Material Science (15 ECTS)
  • Applied Microbiology (15 ECTS)
  • Petrochemical Separation Processes (15 ECTS)

examples of pROJEcT topics

  • Development of an aragonite-brucite composite as a protective coating for offshore substructures
  • Heterologous expression of prebikaverin in s. cerevisiae
  • Searching for fungi with antibiotic properties
  • Atmospheric crude oil distillation unit design based on a specified crude


During the 5th semester, you will develop your general engineering skills and learn to design, control and adjust chemical processes and systems. Also, you will gain necessary insight into other areas of engineering - an insight needed for larger projects to succeed, and which can be the foundation for future collaboration.


  • Chemical Reaction Engineering (5 ECTS)
  • Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer and Fluid Mechanics (5 ECTS)
  • Mathematical Modelling and Numerical Methods (5 ECTS)


Choose one topic

  • Chemical Process Engineering (15 ECTS)
  • Bioprocess Engineering (15 ECTS)
  • Refinery Products and Processes (15 ECTS)

examples of pROJEcT topics

  • Electrochemical considerations and demonstration of a quinone-based redox flow battery
  • Optimal conditions with respect to production of fusaristatin A in Fusarium graminearum: Bioprocess technology


On the sixth semester, you write your Bachelor’s project within the framework of chemical engineering and biotechnology. During the courses you will learn more about how to perform controlled experiments, do research, develop study plans based on qualitative and quantitative data and analyse your findings.


  • Design of Experiments (5 ECTS)
  • Process Control, Instrumentation and Safety (5 ECTS)

bachelor’s PROJEcT

  • Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology (20 ECTS)

examples of bachelor’s pROJEcT topics

  • Three-dimensional electrode reactor for wastewater treatment
  • Quinon based redox flow battery
  • H2S Scavengers
  • Analysis and control of potable water in the prefecture of Kavala

Commencement of studies exam

There is a commencement of studies exam in this programme. Therefore, during the first weeks of the 1st semester, all new students must take part in a written commencement of studies exam. The purpose of the commencement of studies exam is to ascertain whether students have actually commenced their studies. The students must participate in and pass the commencement of studies exam in order to continue on the programme. If the students do not participate or do not pass the commencement the students must participate and pass the re-exam which is also a written exam. If the commencement of studies exam or the re-exam is not passed, the student will be discharged from their studies by October 1st. The commencement of studies exam is based on the introduction as well as the students’ expectations and motivation for the studies.

The students receive the assessment “Approved” or “Not approved” based on their answers on the written exam. The assessment “Approved” is received when the written exam is answered and handed in.

combination and master options

Study Method at AAU - Problem Based Learning

Study Method at AAU - Problem Based Learning

The study method at AAU is called Problem Based Learning (PBL). Together with your fellow students you will work with real life problems by way of problem based project work.

learn more about Pbl at aau