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Before choosing courseBB2140 Industrial and Environmental Microbiology 12.0 creditsAdministrate About course
Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
* Retrieved from Course syllabus BB2140 (Autumn 2007–)

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Metabolism and physiology in industrial microorganisms: the metabolic basis for bioprocesses.  Physiological stress responses. Quorum sensing. Secondary metabolism. Environmental microbiology  with applications: extremophile microorganisms. Composting and biological soil sanitation. Xenobiotics. Anaerobic metabolism. Microbial energy transformations: methane and ethanol. Environmental cycle. Food microbiology: fermented food. Methods to limit microbial activity through sterilization, conservation, and disinfection. Individual literature assignments which will be written and presented in English. The subject for the literature assignment is individually chosen. It can be chosen from suggestions from the teacher or from one’s own interest.

Intended learning outcomes

The course gives theoretical knowledge about the metabolic foundations for usage of microorganisms in technical processes and for the understanding of the microbial activity in nature and microbial researched problems.  Deeper insight in the chosen topics can be attained through individual work. 

After passing the course, the student should be able to:

  • describe those mechanisms which regulate the cell’s metabolism in relationship to the changes in the environment
  • explain how the cell’s metabolism is affected by environmental changes and identify the consequences of this for the cell and for biotechnological production of recombinant proteins and cellular metabolites, and (in occasional cases) suggest measures to improve the production
  • categorize the different types of microbial energy metabolism and describe the interaction between these in the biogeochemical cycles in nature, and identify relevant types of metabolism for a given biotechnological process
  • describe the principles for soil sanitation and composting, discern possible problems and suggest measures to mitigate them
  • describe the most common chemical reactions involved in decomposition of food and how the physiological-chemical environment affects the development of microflora and the chemical decomposition reactions
  • describe the most common food-controlled pathogens’ properties, spreading and role in different types of food 
  • describe the different conservation and disinfection methods and their mechanisms
  • describe the microbial and enzymatic reactions involved in the manufacturing of fermented food
  • mention the most common microbiological analysis methods which are used in food control

Course Disposition

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Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

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Recommended prerequisites

BB1030 Microbiology or BB2100 Microbiology, General Course and BB1090 Biochemistry, Theory or BB2050 Biochemistry, Theory.


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Brock: Biology of Microorganisms;

S. -O. Enfors and L. Häggström: Bioprocess Technology. Fundamentals and Applications, KTH 2000; S. -O. Enfors: Livsmedelsmikrobiologi (compendium).

Remaining literature will be announced at the course start.

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • SEM1 - Seminars, 4,5 hp, betygsskala: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 6,0 hp, betygsskala: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • TEN2 - Examination, 1,5 hp, betygsskala: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

Written examination (TEN1; 6,0 credits, grading scale A-F). Home work (TEN2; 1,5 credits, grading scale Pass/Fail). Literature task written and presented orally in English (SEM1; 4,5 credits, grading scale Pass/Fail). Students have a duty to attend practices and literature seminars.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web BB2140

Offered by

CBH/Industrial Biotechnology

Main field of study


Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

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Gen Larsson, +46 8 553 783 16

Supplementary information

Homepage of the course