(141g) A Comparison Between Membrane Adsorbers and Packed Bed Columns

Boi, C., Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna
Carbonell, R., North Carolina State University

Despite the development of new membranes with improved binding capacity, the use of membrane adsorbers is still limited to niche applications, and packed bed chromatography remains the workhorse of industrial downstream processing. While membrane chromatography, in which mass transfer is dominated by convection, is a fast process, packed bed chromatography exhibits a higher binding capacity. In this work a systematic comparison between the two processes has been developed using an integrated approach that combines both theory and experiments.

 The detailed performance of a membrane adsorber and a packed bed column has been studied experimentally in detail using the same pilot scale chromatography system. The results obtained using BSA as a model protein have been used to validate a mathematical model of the two processes and a critical comparison has been performed including the role of binding capacity, throughput, selectivity, yield and cost. From the results obtained, it is apparent that the fluid dynamics of the membrane module can play a major role in the overall performance of membrane adsorbers when compared to chromatographic columns.