Production of Penicillin Through Fermentation

1584 Words Mar 27th, 2011 7 Pages
Antibiotics are among the most frequently prescribed medications in modern medicine. Antibiotics cure disease by killing bacteria and keeping them from reproducing. Penicillin was the first antibiotic, discovered accidentally from a mold culture. Presently, over 100 different antibiotics are available in the market to cure minor discomforts as well as lifethreatening infections. Antibiotics are very useful in a wide variety of infections, but they only treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics are useless against viral infections (for example, the common cold) and fungal infections (such as ringworm).

Penicillin is a group of antibiotics derived from Penicillium fungi. Penicillin is a historically significant drug
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There are two temperature optima connected with penicillin production. One, about 30oC, best for mycelium-producing phase; the other, about 200C, best for penicillin producing phase.


The effect of cultivation conditions on the penicillin production can be summarized as: 1) The maximum production amount of penicillin was achieved when cultivation temperature and pH were kept at 22±2°C and 6.5, respectively. 2) The maximum production yield of penicillin for substrate was obtainable when the concentration of lactose and that of cornsteep liquor in the basal medium were adjusted at 60 kg/m3 and 30 kg/m3, respectively. 3) The rate of oxygen supply is critical for the fermentation. Thus, the reactor must have an efficient oxygen supply system for optimum yield.

Transport Phenomena in Fermenter:
Mass Transfer is seen when there is mixing between two components of varying concentrations. This is very important when we are attempting to grow aerobic microbes in media. When the oxygen is bubbled through the fermenter tank, there is high concentrations of oxygen near the bubbles but low concentration everywhere else in the tank. Since oxygen concentration is such a vital component of aerobic metabolism, it is essential that there is good transfer of oxygen across the gas/liquid interface. The Sparger delivers this oxygen. At low stirrer speeds, gas dispersion is inadequate and the insufficient oxygen transfer rate is a limiting factor.
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