GEA Filtration is experienced in processing a wide range of products on a commercial basis and by testing products at the plant site or in our pilot plant testing facility.
Our Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Mission Statement
GEA Filtration's goal within the biotechnology industry is to become a technology partner with the customer on any and all projects involving membrane filtration and thereby improving the customer's product yield, quality and cost-effectiveness of the customer's process operations.
Definition of the Industrial Biotech and Environmental Biotech Sector
This sector uses living organisms to manufacture a variety of products that result in the reduction of pollution, resource consumption and waste. Typical products include bioethanol, industrial enzymes, biological fuel cells, enzymes for bioremediation, biodegradable plastics and much more.
Pharmaceutical / Biotechnology Applications
Cell harvesting or biomass recovery is an important step in any fermentation process, especially when manufacturing bulk intermediates such as antibiotics. Membrane filtration has successfully replaced separation methods such as rotary vacuum filters or centrifugation in many plants by significantly improving product yields and reducing operator involvement and maintenance costs. Membranes are also a standard part of industrial enzyme manufacturing lines to concentrate the enzymes prior to further downstream processing.
Other applications include
- Enzyme and Protein Processing
- Purification and concentration of amino acids
- Membrane filtration is a much more effective alternative to clarify and concentrate amino acids than the older, more traditional processes. With ultrafiltration, the various types of amino acids can be processed more uniformly despite the strong characteristic differences of each kind of broth.
- Protein purification and recovery
- Membrane filtration is very effective in removing bacteria and other impurities from protein. There is also protein to be recovered from many process waste streams.
- Concentration and de-mineralization of blood plasma
- After blood cells are removed (commonly by centrifuge) the plasma can be concentrated by membrane filtration. Concentrating the plasma is often done to reduce shipping costs, as further processing will take place at a different location.
- Peptide concentration
- NF is used to concentrate peptide streams.
- Bacillus Thuringiensis
- Bacillus thuringiensis is a bacteria used as an environmentally friendly biological insecticide, and its DNA is being used in genetically engineered insect-resistant crops. In production of the spray-type insecticide, RO is used to concentrate and remove salts and waters from a broth of the bacteria. The concentrate is then dried to a powder form. This drying process leaves a substantial amount of B. thuringiensis to be recovered from the waste stream. Membrane filtration is the most effective way to recover what would otherwise be a significant loss of product. This also reduces BOD levels in the waste stream.
- Somatotropin (porcine or bovine somatotropin) is a growth horomone given to livestock (commonly as an injection or topical agent) to improve animal growth and internally increase the efficiency of the animals' feed. The production of injectable porcine or bovine somatotropin involves fermentation and several steps of membrane filtration to effectively purify and concentrate the horomone.
- Bacitracin is an antibiotic used in livestock feed. Membrane filtration is used to concentrate the bacitracin broth prior to drying. This reduces capitol and operation costs.
- Membrane filtration is used in the manufacture of penicillin to purify and concentrate the broth.
- Cephalosporin is an antibiotic often taken as a substitute by those who cannot take penicillin.
- Lysozyme is an enzyme that assists in fighting bacteria. Membrane filtration is the most effective process to concentrate the large amounts of lysozyme found in egg whites.
- Streptomycin, Neomycin
- Membrane filtration has been used not only to purify and concentrate these antibiotics, but also to remove their color.
- Tetracycline is an antibiotic used most often for acne treatment. Membrane filtration is used to purify and concentrate the tetracycline broth, and in some plants it is used to recover tetracycline from waste streams.
- Lactic Acid Production
- As lactic acid is produced by fermentation, the fermenting broth is ultrafiltered to remove the lactic acid and recycle the cells back to the fermentor. UF or NF is further used to purify and concentrate the acid, sometimes as a preconcentration prior to evaporation.
- Butyric Acid Production
- UF and RO are used to purify and concentrate butyric acid
- Citric Acid Production
- Citric acid is produced by fermenting dextrose. MF is used to recover the acid from the fermenting broth and then NF is used to purify it.
- Acetic Acid Production
- RO is used to concentrate acetic acid.
- Protease Enzyme
- Protease enzyme is concentrated by NF
- Cellulase Enzyme
- Peroxidase Enzyme
- Phytase enzyme cell separation and purification
GEA Filtration is a world leader in cGMP membrane filtration with microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis as core technologies in pharma and biotech separation / purification processes.
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