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Antibiotics


Separation and Filtering
of Culture Fluid

Background

The following is an example showing the manufacturing processes of antibiotics among various raw material medicines. The manufacturing processes of antibiotics consist of seeding, culture, fermentation, filtering & cleaning, product development, and packaging (Figure 1).

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Since the raw materials treated by the main fermentation process contain various ingredients including bacteria and agar, those unnecessary ingredients are removed by the filtering process. 

Also, the liquid from the fermentation process is very difficult to treat because of its high concentration and high viscosity. The current filtering process has several problems due to the membrane fouling including low treatment flux, frequent cleaning, high costs of chemicals, and decrease of quality by non-uniformalization.

Antibiotics Filtration

The FMX was applied in the process of separating medical liquids after the fermentation process in the manufacturing processes of antibiotics. Because it was very difficult to filter the fermented liquids of more than TS 10% using the current tubular type membrane, dilution water had to be added to the liquids. The FMX is a facility appropriate for filtering high concentrated liquids. It showed an excellent performance in filtering the fermented liquid ingredients. Figure 2 shows the result (batch test data) of the fermented liquid filtered through the FMX. In section A, the filtering was performed without dilution water, and in section B, the second filtering was performed after 50% of dilution water was added.

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Using the membrane of pore size of 0.05µm, the operation was stabilized with the average flux of 110 LMH ( l/ m^2*hr) at the temperature of lower than 10°C. When the operation was performed with the second dilution water added after separating medical liquid ingredients, the flux was 150 LMH which is more than the flux filtered without adding dilution water. 

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When FMX was employed in the current filtering process, we were able to filter the medical liquid ingredients without dilution water and improve the filtering time by up to 50% due to its stabilized high flux. Also efficient operation was possible because the problems of filter membrane fouling and filtering delay had been resolved automatically by FMX. 

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