Performance of a continuous foam separation column as a function of process variables

C. H. Wong, Monwar M. Hossain, C. E. Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Enrichment and recovery of bovine serum albumin has been examined in a continuous foam separation column. The effects of the operating factors, superficial air velocity, feed flow rate, feed concentration and pH on the above characteristics was investigated. The protein enrichment decreased with the increase in the value of each of these parameters. Protein recovery increased with increasing air velocity, decreased with increasing feed flow rate and did hot change very much with increasing feed concentration. Maximum protein recovery was obtained at the isoelectric point (pH 4.8) of the protein. Maximum protein recovery was round to be a strong function of the air velocity in the range 0.05-0.15 cm/s. Further increase in air velocity did not have much effect on recovery because of very large bubbles formed as a result of coalescence. Bubble size was determined as a function of the above factors in the liquid and foam sections of the column. It was round to be dependent on protein concentration, feed flow rate and solution pH. The effect was more significant in the foam section of the column. The bubbles in the foam section were significantly larger (about 3-10 times) than those in the liquid, with a sharp change at the foam-liquid interface. The bubble size measurements were used to calculate the interfacial area and it was shown that the rate of protein removal increases with increasing interfacial area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-81
Number of pages9
JournalBioprocess and Biosystems Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering


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