Evaluation of separation and purification processes in the antibiotic industry

  • Paul R. Bienkowski
  • Douglas D. Lee
  • Charles H. Byers
Session 3-Scientific Note


Antibiotic production is a complex capital intensive process, which divides naturally into two segments, fermentation and separation/purification. The separation and purification section is very large as a result of the number of processing steps required (up to 60) and the need to purify and recycle large quantities of organic solvents. Separation and purification is not generic within the antibiotic industry. Not only does each individual antibiotic require a different separation process, but also there are many different separation schemes in use for the same antibiotic. Much research is currently in progress on three relatively new separation techniques on a commercial level, which may lead to substantial reductions in the complexity of the process; chromatography (both conventional preparative HPLC and annular chromatography), supercritical extraction, and various membrane processes.

Index Entries

Antibiotics separation and purification supercritical fluid extraction chromatography 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul R. Bienkowski
    • 1
  • Douglas D. Lee
    • 2
  • Charles H. Byers
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of TennesseeUSA
  2. 2.Chemical Technology DivisionOak Ridge National LaboratoryUSA

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