, Volume 10, Issue 1-3, pp 99-112

High gradient magnetic separation versus expanded bed adsorption: a first principle comparison

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A robust new adsorptive separation technique specifically designed for direct product capture from crude bioprocess feedstreams is introduced and compared with the current bench mark technique, expanded bed adsorption. The method employs product adsorption onto sub-micron sized non-porous superparamagnetic supports followed by rapid separation of the ‘loaded’ adsorbents from the feedstock using high gradient magnetic separation technology. For the recovery of Savinase® from a cell-free Bacillus clausii fermentation liquor using bacitracin-linked adsorbents, the integrated magnetic separation system exhibited substantially enhanced productivity over expanded bed adsorption when operated at processing velocities greater than 48 m h−1. Use of the bacitracin-linked magnetic supports for a single cycle of batch adsorption and subsequent capture by high gradient magnetic separation at a processing rate of 12 m h−1 resulted in a 2.2-fold higher productivity relative to expanded bed adsorption, while an increase in adsorbent collection rate to 72 m h−1 raised the productivity to 10.7 times that of expanded bed adsorption. When the number of batch adsorption cycles was then increased to three, significant drops in both magnetic adsorbent consumption (3.6 fold) and filter volume required (1.3 fold) could be achieved at the expense of a reduction in productivity from 10.7 to 4.4 times that of expanded bed adsorption.