A periodic countercurrent whole beer process was developed for the recovery of novobiocin to eliminate the high cost of mycelium filtration and accompanying antibiotic losses in the filter cake. In such a process screened, but unfiltered, novobiocin fermentation beer is contacted with a special grade of an anionic‐exchange resin in a series of specially designed, well mixed columns. Each column is fitted with a screen sized to retain resin within the column but allow the cells to press. Periodically the lead column is isolated from the column train, washed free of beer solids, and eluted. A freshly eluted column is placed in the trail position to allow countercurrent operation. The eluate is then processed to crystalline product. A mathematical model for the sorption of novobiocin was developed based on a suitable continuity equation and mass transfer and equilibrium relationships determined in the laboratory. Digital computations of this model correlated well with laboratory and pilot plant data, and predicted well the performance of the production units. This simulation has been in continued use to predict and reoptimize plant operation as process changes (such as improved beer titers, increased production rate, and the evaluation of superior ion‐exchange resins) occurred or were anticipated.
Biotechnology and Bioengineering – Wiley
Published: May 1, 1973
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