Application of Centrifuges in Penicillin Extraction

Jul 04,2024

As a leading technology, biopharmaceuticals have opened up broad prospects for the development of medicine and the medical industry, significantly improving people’s quality of life. Penicillin stands out as a high efficiency and low-toxicity antibiotic with widespread clinical applications.

Its molecular structure incorporates penicillamine, which disrupts the cell wall of bacteria during the bacterial cell’s reproductive phase, thus exhibiting antibacterial properties. In the realm of biopharmaceuticals, penicillin is a crucial extract, and its extraction process typically involves advanced separation techniques, such as centrifuges and solvent extraction, to extract pure penicillin from the fermentation broth.

Application of Centrifuges in Penicillin Extraction

How to Extract Penicillin?

To obtain penicillin in the form of a high-purity barium salt, a multi-step process is employed. This includes repeated fractionation from amyl acetate to water, chromatographic separation on an alumina column, and treatment of the active fraction with aluminum amalgam until the alumina column achieves a uniform state. The filtered penicillin fermentation broth is then extracted and purified by disc centrifuge.

During the purification process, a dilute sulfuric acid solution is introduced to the penicillin fermentation filtrate, and the pH to approximately 2.0. Following this, butyl acetate and a demulsifier are added for extraction, maintaining an operating temperature of 10°C to 15°C.

After centrifuging and washing the extracted organic phase, the three-stage continuous counter-current reverse extraction with alkaline water is performed using a centrifuge at low temperatures, adjusting the pH to 6.6 to 7.2, to purify the target compound into the aqueous phase.

This extraction methodology has many advantages such as rapid mass transfer, a short production cycle, ease of continuous operation, automatic control, high separation efficiency, and large-scale production capabilities. especially in automation control to improve production efficiency.

Finally, the back-extracted solution is crystallized using a butanol azeotrope and dried to obtain a refined product. Although this preparation is not crystalline, it is extremely active, containing 450 to 500 Oxford penicillin units per milligram.

It can completely inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus in broth at a dilution of 1:25,000,000, earning it recognition as one of the most potent antibacterial agents.

When to Use Centrifuges in Penicillin Extraction?

Centrifuges are typically used in the penicillin extraction process at the following key stages:

After Fermentation

Once the fermentation process is complete and the biomass containing penicillin is produced, decanter centrifuges are used to separate the solid biomass from the liquid fermentation broth. This initial separation removes a large portion of the solids, allowing for further purification of the penicillin.


After the initial separation, the liquid fermentation broth often contains residual solid impurities that need to be removed. Disc separators are used for clarification purposes, effectively separating the remaining solids from the liquid, and resulting in a clearer penicillin solution.

Extraction Stages

In multi-stage extraction processes, decanter centrifuges can be used at each stage to separate the solvent containing the penicillin from the solid residue. This allows for the efficient recovery of the penicillin-rich solvent while minimizing the amount of solids carried forward to the next stage.

Final Purification

At the final stages of the extraction process, disc separators can be employed to further purify the penicillin solution by removing any remaining impurities or contaminants. This ensures a high-purity penicillin product suitable for pharmaceutical applications.

When to Use Centrifuges in Penicillin Extraction

It is important to note that the specific use of centrifuges in the penicillin extraction process may vary depending on the specific production method, equipment available, and the desired product specifications.

However, their ability to efficiently separate solids from liquids, combined with their adaptability to different process conditions, makes them a valuable tool in penicillin extraction.

How to Choose the Right Centrifuges in Penicillin Extraction?

Whether to use centrifuges in penicillin production or other biotechnological processes depends on the specific demands of the production equipment and the technology employed by the manufacturer.

While traditional methods may rely on separation methods such as filtration and precipitation, while modern advancements often incorporate centrifugal separation to improve both efficiency and product quality.

As technology evolves, different separation and clarification techniques are becoming more common in the biopharmaceutical industry. Manufacturers typically select equipment based on factors such as scalability, operational efficiency, and product characteristics.

Throughout the penicillin extraction process, the centrifuge must be designed with explosion-proof capabilities. In the pharmaceutical industry, especially in the production of antibiotics such as penicillin, safety precautions are paramount due to the use of solvents, gases, and other potentially hazardous materials.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers are obligated to conduct rigorous risk assessments and adhere to stringent industry safety standards and regulations. Explosion-proof equipment plays a crucial role in minimizing risks in flammable and explosive environments, thereby safeguarding the safety of pharmaceutical production.

For penicillin extraction, here are some key factors on how to choose the right centrifuge:
Capacity and Throughput: Make sure the centrifuge can efficiently handle the required feed volume.
Separation efficiency: Choose a model that provides excellent solid-liquid separation to ensure the purity of the penicillin product.
Material compatibility: Make sure the centrifuge is compatible with the feed, solvents, and cleaning agents and will not be damaged or corroded.
Ease of operation and maintenance: Choose a centrifuge that is easy to operate and maintain to reduce downtime.
Manufacturer and support: Choose a reputable manufacturer that provides comprehensive support, including installation, training, and after-sales service.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision to ensure optimal performance and product quality of your penicillin in extraction process.

Manufacturer and support


The centrifuge plays a pivotal role in the extraction of penicillin, as it allows for the efficient separation of the desired compound from the complex mixture. Through the force of centrifugation, the centrifuge enhances the purity of the penicillin, making it suitable for pharmaceutical use.

With advanced design and precise performance, the centrifuges produced by Huading ensure a smooth and reliable extraction process, which is vital for the pharmaceutical industry to meet the demands of high-quality antibiotics.

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