Membrane extraction of penicillin g from a synthetic fermentation media using sunflower oil

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The use of sunflower oil as an environmentally-friendly solvent was examined for the separation of penicillin G (Pen G) from a synthetic fermentation media to develop a cost-effective process. In order to evaluate this, equilibrium experiments were first carried out with solvent alone (sunflower oil/pegasol/tributyl phosphate) and then with the solvent containing dissolved Amberlite LA-2, an ionic carrier. The organic systems with the carrier gave better distribution of Pen G between the aqueous and organic phases. The values of the distribution coefficient were greater for tributyl phosphate (TBP) than the other solvents at the natural pH of Pen G. Sunflower oil gave a good distribution ratio and it can be recommended as an attractive option because of its low cost, minimal toxicity and moderate performance. The effectiveness of the carrier-sunflower oil (organic phase) was evaluated in a hollow-fiber membrane contactor by performing experiments with the organic phase on the shell side and the feed inside the fiber. With a small amount of carrier (approx. 5%) in the organic phase and at the natural pH of penicillin G, a good percentage extraction (approx. 40-45%) was achieved. The percentage extraction decreased (approx. 30-35%) when penicillin G was prepared in a synthetic fermentation media instead of pure aqueous media. These results are similar to those reported by many investigators; the main difference is that, in this report, an environmentally-friendly solvent was used instead of toxic solvents used in the literature, such as kerosene.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA100
JournalInternational Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • carrier
  • distribution coefficient
  • extraction
  • hollow-fiber membrane contactor
  • mass transfer coefficient
  • organic solution
  • penicillin G

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering


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