Biochemical Reaction Engineering, Industrial and Metabolic Engineering Laboratories

Professor Pınar Çalık's research focuses on catalysis through metabolic engineering for production of proteins such as industrial enzymes and bio-pharmaceutical proteins in the microbial cell systems such as bacteria and yeast. Her group has pioneered the molecular design and application of a broad class of recombinant systems for extracellular production of heterologous production of the proteins by constructing hybrid-gene systems, promoter engineering, and transcriptional engineering. The group is applying constructed novel cells carrying these novel engineered systems for production in bioreactors from microscale to mesoscale (pilot scale), for investigation of the production medium design, and bioreactor operation conditions design that are the oxygen transfer and pH-operation conditions, which she has pioneered, as follows:

Catalysis through metabolic engineering: Enables hallmark successes in the development of highly productive metabolically engineered microorganisms and systems that have the potential to produce a wide array of compounds with uses that include enzymes and bio-pharmaceuticals, besides fuels and bulk chemicals. We select molecules of interest, hypothesize potential novel intracellular reaction pathways and also discover naturally occurring novel promoters, and begin construction of engineered cells using transcriptional- and promoter engineering, multi-promoter and hybrid-gene construction methods.

Computation of intracellular reaction rates:  We construct intracellular metabolic reaction networks and construct mathematical models in order to calculate the reaction rates (fluxes). Using elaborate bioreactor data, constrained flux analysis is carried out under perturbation effects of bioreactor operation conditions in order to determine the rate-limiting reactions, consequently the enzyme that catalyze the reaction and the gene encoding the enzyme. Using this knowledge as a feedback, we engineer the reaction pathway using the metabolic engineering tools.

Bioprocess development and bioreactor design: Micro-scale achievements need to be translated to mesoscale (pilot-scale) bioreactors to enhance the production and productivity with the reaction- and reactor- engineering tools, i.e., production medium design, investigation of oxygen transfer and pH operation conditions, furthermore, bioreactor design. The group is the pioneer with the methodological research contributions on investigation of oxygen transfer and rate-limiting step analysis, investigation of pH-operation conditions, parametric semi-batch (fed-batch) bioreactor operation design and hybrid semi-batch bioreactor operation design.

Major devices used in the laboratory: Thermal cycler (PCR) systems, gel-electrophoresis systems, gel-imaging system, SDS- and Western Blotting systems, centrifuges, uv-spectrophotometers, fluorescence spectrophotometer, capillary electrophoresis system, reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatograph system, orbital-shake-bioreactors, pilot-scale bioreactor systems


Clean Combustion Laboratory

Professor Görkem Külah’s research focuses on fluidized bed coal combustion, modelling of fluidized bed combustors, hydrodynamics and scale-up of high density circulating fluidized beds, hydrodynamics of spouted and spout-fluid beds, modelling of steady and transient radiative heat transfer and coating of pharmaceuticals in fluidized beds. Research is also conducted on the development of three-way catalyst converters for automotive exhaust gas.

Major devices used in the laboratory:  Pilot scale 150 kWt Circulating Fluidized Bed Combustor (CFBC) and 300 kWt Bubbling Fluidized Bed Combustor (BFBC). Laboratory and pilot scale spouted and spout-fluid beds. Dynamic activity test system for automotive catalysts.


Environmental Catalysis Laboratory

Professor Gürkan Karakaş’s research focuses on heterogeneous catalysis for low-temperature oxidation, photocatalytic removal of pollutants, semiconductor metal oxide catalysts, sensors and multifunctional catalytic materials.

Major devices used in the laboratory: Gravimetric analyzer, in-situ thermal and photochemical catalytic reaction test systems, mass spectrometer, FTIR, intelligent gravimetric sorption analyzer.


Fluid Mechanics and Rheology Research Laboratory

Professor Yusuf Uludağ’s research focuses on activities are in the areas of experimental and computational fluid mechanics and mathematical modeling of transport processes. The experimental studies are mainly carried out in the laboratory dedicated to fluid flow phenomena both Newtonian and non-Newtonian.

Major devices used in the laboratory: Ultrasound Doppler velocimeter, agitated tanks with controllers, flow rigs and a rheometer.


Hydrogen Research Laboratory

Assoc. Prof. Harun Koku’s research focuses on the indoor and outdoor biological hydrogen production experiments are conducted. The laboratory includes the necessary infrastructure to grow and maintain bacterial cultures, analyze liquid and gas mixtures, monitor weather data and set up and operate small-to-pilot scale reactors.

Major devices used in the laboratory: GC, HPLC, UV-Vis Spectrophotometer, Incubators, Desktop Centrifuge, Autoclave, Photobioreactor setup and components


Kinetic Research Laboratory

Professor Naime Aslı Sezgi’s research focuses on catalyst development for dimethyl ether production. hydrogen production from steam reforming of alcohols or diesel, and production of value-added products from recycling of plastic wastes, characterization of catalyst, kinetic studies for synthesis of materials such as boron nitride nanotubes, carbon nanotubes and boron carbide etc, development of rate expression for any reaction, and production of thin films using chemical vapour deposition technique.

Major devices used in the laboratory: Mass spectrometer, Gas chromatographs, Reaction systems, DRIFTS, Micromeritics Chemisorb, Equipment for catalyst synthesis.


Membranes for Liquid Separations Laboratory

Professor P. Zeynep Çulfaz Emecen’s research focuses on developing membranes and membrane-based separation processes that can operate stably in harsh organic solvents and in aqueous media. The group uses natural and synthetic polymers to fabricate membranes in sheet and hollow fiber geometries and with patterned surface morphologies. On one side, they try to understand the fundamentals of membrane formation via polymer phase separation and on the other side they apply these membranes in a variety of processes such as wastewater treatment, protein purification and solvent purification and recycling.

Major devices used in the laboratory: Hollow fiber spinning line, optical microscopes, high and low pressure, dead-end and cross-flow membrane filtrations systems.


Molecular Reactor Engineering for Catalysis and Surface Science Laboratory

Professor Deniz Üner’s research focuses on interest focuses on developing fundamental understanding of the molecular events on supported, powder catalysts and catalytic materials for improved reactor designs and operations. Surface dynamics of model and industrial catalytic reactions are studied by in situ methods such as NMR of adsorbed species, adsorption calorimetry and DRIFTS.

Molecular level of understanding is also supplemented by DFT studies, conducted in collaboration with theory groups in partner universities. Reactor models are developed through in house generated programs as well as interfacing to COMSOL.  

Major instruments used in the laboratory:


In situ adsorption Calorimetry (SETARAM C80 Tian Calvet).

Perkin Elmer DRIFTS with Pike praying mantis cell for in situ reaction tests.

Micromeritics Chemisorb, TPR, TPO TPD over powdered catalysts.

Home built reaction test systems.

Gas solid reaction test systems

  1. Transient reactor: Capable of concentration forcing, gas analysis is performed by mass spectrometry (Pfeiffer RGA)
  2. Steady state reactor systems with on line gas chromatography (FID, TCD systems)

Gas, liquid, solid reaction test systems

  1. For powdered catalysts
  2. Microfluidic reaction test systems


Multiphase Mixing Laboratory

Assoc. Prof. İnci Ayrancı’s research focuses on design of stirred tanks for various multiphase flow processes. These include mineral processing, solid-catalyzed reactions, gas hydrate formation and emulsification using solid particles. The research group aims to determine the best tank design and processing conditions and generate understanding of these complex flow systems.   

Major devices used in the laboratory: Particle size analyzer, multi-purpose stirred tank setup with a torque sensor, stirred tank system for solids suspension available for both visual and pressure measurements, various sizes of baffled/unbaffled stirred tank systems.  

Polymer Engineering Research Laboratory

Professor Göknur Bayram’s research focuses on polymer blends and composites for the purpose of property enhancement or modification, overall cost reduction and improvement of processing characteristics. The crucial point in the composite preparation is to provide a proper balance among the multifunctional properties such as mechanical, thermal, electrical, flame retardant and shape memory properties depending on the end use. These properties make them particularly attractive for engineering applications in construction, medical, textile and transportation industries. The general performance of these materials is related to the properties of the components, the interaction between them, the morphology of the phases and the preparation methodologies.

Major devices used in the laboratory: Twin screw extruder, injection molding device, compression molding machine, electrospinning equipment, mechanical testing machine, impact tester, limiting oxygen index test apparatus.


Porous Materials for Separation Processes Research Laboratory

Professor Halil Kalıpçılar’s research focuses on work on the synthesis of microporous materials from micron to nanosizes to develop polymer base mixed matrix and inorganic membranes and adsorbents.  Those membranes and adsorbents are applied in a number of processes such as separation of permanent gases, hydrocarbon vapors, water containing liquid mixtures and recovery of waste liquids. 

Major devices used in the laboratory: the laboratory is well equipped with a number of systems for membrane synthesis and for separation processes.


Soft and Functional Materials Laboratory

 The research conducted in the laboratory of Assoc. Prof. Emre Büküşoğlu’s employs the colloidal and interfacial phenomena including liquid crystals, micro- and nanoparticles, polymers, surfactants and lipids to develop functional materials for wearable technologies. Our recent research is motivated towards developing materials for use in chemical industry and everyday life. The main applications include sensors for toxic/harmful gases and volatile organic compounds, and early diagnosis of critical diseases.

Major devices used in the laboratory: Polarized optical microscopes including darkfield imaging components, waveplates, compansators for determining the nanostructure of the materials, UV light sources for curing, simple lithography apparatus, 3D-printers, sample and material preparation apparatus.


Supercritical Fluids and High-pressure Laboratory

Assoc. Prof. Çerağ Dilek Hacıhabiboğlu’s research focuses on the phase equilibrium thermodynamics, molecular interactions and transport properties of environmentally benign multicomponent fluid systems with tunable physicochemical properties. We use the acquired knowledge in development of environmentally and human-health friendly processing of materials, and chemical reaction and separation processes such as production of value-added products from wastes and carbon dioxide capturing.

Major devices used in the laboratory: High-pressure, high-temperature vessels with visible interior volume, high-pressure syringe pump, UV-VIS spectrophotometer and UV-VIS high pressure vessels.


Zeolite Synthesis and Application Research Laboratory

Assoc. Prof. Bahar İpek Torun’s research focuses on synthesis of zeolites with small- medium- and large pores for catalysis and storage applications. The research is focused on designing zeolite-based adsorbents for H2 storage and designing transition metal exchanged zeolites for heterogeneous catalysis. Specifically, C1 chemistry is studied including methane and carbon dioxide conversion to valuable chemicals such as methanol.

Major devices used in the laboratory: Equipment for zeolite synthesis such as high-pressure autoclaves, furnaces and ovens, filtration equipment and a reaction system.


Laboratory for Advanced Catalysis Engineering and Kinetics

Asst. Prof. Gökhan Çelik’s lab has expertise in the synthesis, characterization, and testing of catalytic materials and strives to elucidate catalytic phenomena in a variety of catalytic systems. Asst. Prof. Dr. Gökhan Çelik directs a research program focused primarily on heterogeneous catalysis in areas ranging from catalytic upcycling of waste polymers, synthesis of advanced catalytic materials using atomic layer deposition, hydrocarbon processing reactions, net positive utilization of CO2 through hydrogen economy, methane pyrolysis to turquoise H2 and catalytic abatement of air and water pollutants.

Major devices used in the laboratory: Gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC, GC-MS, and residual gas analyzers), pulse and flow chemisorption systems (TPR, TPD, TPRxn, etc.), Viscous flow reactor for Atomic Layer Deposition on powders, in-situ DRIFTS equipped with high temperature reaction chamber, Wet synthesis (Schlenk line, reflux systems, centrifuge, sonic bath, etc.) and ovens and furnaces for thermal treatments (calcination, reduction, etc.) Catalytic activity systems: High-pressure high-temperature Parr reactors, Home-made catalytic activity systems (gas-phase fixed-bed flow reactors, a bubble column flow reactor using molten metals, and an aqueous-phase batch reactor equipped with ion selective electrodes)


Non-equilibrium Plasma Laboratory

Asst. Prof. Necip Berker Üner ’s research focuses on the utilization of unique plasma-surface interactions for synthesis of photonic, optoelectronic and photo-electrocatalytic materials in either thin film of powder form. Plasma chemistry is another major theme of the laboratory as research is carried out on the efficient and selective conversion of solid, liquid and gaseous raw materials into valuable commodities with plasma-assisted reactions.

Major devices used in the laboratory: Various high voltage power supplies, low and atmospheric pressure plasma reactors.

Last Updated:
26/03/2024 - 00:31