n.BA.BT.UBT1.22HS (Environmental Biotechnology 1) 
Module: Environmental Biotechnology 1
This information was generated on: 23 July 2024
Environmental Biotechnology 1


Version: 1.0 start 01 August 2022


Study Programme Biotechnology
Regulations Applicable RPO, 29 January 2008, School of Life Sciences and Facility Management Academic Regulations, 15 Dec. 2009, Annex for the Bachelor of Biotechnology degree programme
Module Type  
X Compulsory Module    Elective Module    Optional Module
Planned Semester 3rd Semester
Module Coordinator Rolf Warthmann
Telephone / E-Mail +41 (0)58 934 58 74 / rolf.warthmann@zhaw.ch
Rolf Warthmann and various lecturers
Entrance Requirements General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biology
Learning Outcomes and Competencies Students will
  • become familiar with the concept of sustainability and be able to apply it to different environmental compartments.
  • be able to schematically represent and explain the natural cycles of C, N, P and S.
  • be able to explain anthropogenic influences on natural material cycles and derive the relevance of environmental biotechnological processes from this.
  • be able to assess basic aerobic and anaerobic microbiological build-up and degradation reactions in the environment.
  • gain an insight into the material and energetic use of biomasses and be able to explain their biochemical foundation.
  • be able to recognise water as the basis of life, gain insights into the water cycle and be able to describe different processes of municipal drinking water production.
  • be able to describe different methods of detecting microorganisms in drinking water.
  • be able to describe the basic principles of wastewater treatment.
  • be able to recognise the importance of environmental biotechnological issues and processes as part of the role of a biotechnologist.
Module Content
  • The four classic domains of the environment: geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and energy (global reservoirs, pools and rivers)
  • Natural cycles of carbon, nitrogen, sulphur, phosphorus, and anthropogenic influences on these systems
  • Biochemical basics of aerobic and anaerobic microbiological metabolism
  • Principles and concepts of sustainability and bioeconomy
  • Biogenic resources, renewable raw materials and their characterisation and use
  • Fundamentals of the energetic and material use of biomasses
  • Estimation of the energy potential of biological waste
  • Natural water cycle, water as a resource
  • Microbial loads in drinking water and their detection methods
  • Basics of wastewater treatment
  • Fields where environmental biotechnologist operate
Follow-up Modules Environmental Biotechnology 2; Microbial Analytics practical, Toxicology und Ecotoxicology, Environmental Chemistry Minor
Methods of Instruction  Lectures, exercises, independent self-study, excursions
Digital Resources All resources are available on Moodle
Lesson Structure / Workload  
 Contact Hours 28
 Guided Self-Study 12
 Independent Self-Study 20
 Total Workload 60
Classroom Attendance For excursions, yes. Otherwise, no.
Written exam at the end of the semester 70% - e-assessment

Coursework 30%: Grade as a result of groupwork.
If there is a low number of participants, the lecturer may change the form of a repeat examination after consultation with the head of the study programme: e.g. an oral examination can be used to replace a written one. Please report any changes to the form of examinations by e-mail to pruefungsadmin.lsfm@zhaw.ch and Cc. Head of study programme.
Language of Instruction  German
Comments -



Course: Environmental Biotechnology 1
Environmental Biotechnology 1


  • No module description is available in the system for the cut-off date of 23 July 2024.