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Cephalosporin is the second class of β-Lactamase found in nature following by penicillin. Any of various broad-spectrum antibiotics, closely related to the penicillins, which were originally derived from the fungus Cephalosporium acremonium. It has many advantages of high efficiency, broad-spectrum, low toxicity and enzyme-resistance which has been developed four new products to its range. It belongs to superior antibiotics that its application is growing widely. Advanced production technique is very pressing to meet brisk demands of the market both domestically and internationally. Cephalosporin C, or simply as CPC, is the source of original nuclear(7-amino cephalosporanic acid)of various cephalosporium antibiotic.

During the production of CPC, frame filter press, rotate vacuum drum filter are still used as a means of separation to remove protein, mycelium and solid particulates .The technical means available on site did not achieve satisfactory degrees of separation. Meanwhile, those methods are unable to separate the massive existences of soluble protein, macro-molecule organic matters from the broth. The filtered broth shows not high transmittance with residual insolubility and soluble impurities which would increase the difficulty in downstream extraction process and have bad effect on quality and yield of final product. According to market adjusting, some companies are asked to improve separation performance by means of membrane technology and to reduce the product losses. With the widely applications of ceramic membranes, they will play a significant role in purification and separation antibiotics.

Three steps are introduced in order to guarantee yield of CPC in the process of filtrate fermentation broth for the production of CPC by ceramic membranes. Pre-concentration step is made to let feed volume Vo concentrate to Vd and permeates are obtained meanwhile; diafiltration step is to add cleaning agents in the wanted liquids while filtration and effective ingredients are got to reach a high yield ; post-concentration step is to concentrate wanted liquids to Ve aiming to treat residuals conveniently and improve yield further.

Ceramic membrane filtration system could intercept protein and solid particulates from the untreated fermented broth. The protein –removing capability of this technology is 10 times as much as that of original process, with filtration yield increasing by 6%. The attenuation range of membrane flow rate is narrow and thus a better product quality can be obtained.

The temperature of CPC fermentation broth from fermented process drops to 10 below zero and it is acidified to pH2.5-3.0 by the use of hydrofluoric acid.

Then CPC clarity is got due to removing mycelium, suspended solids and macromolecular protein through filtration process. In the next refining process macroporous resin adsorption and ion-exchange is applied, and then nanofiltration and reverse osmosis are also used to obtain concentrated CPC.

Process: