Biospecific Adsorption In Fixed And Periodic Countercurrent Beds


A mathematical model that describes the adsorption and wash stages of biospecific adsorption (affinity chromatography) in a packed column is presented. The model expressions account for film and pre diffusion mass transfer as well as for different mechanisms of interaction between the adsorbate(s) and the ligand. The model equations may be applicable to single and multi‐component biospecific adsorption systems involving both monovalent and multivalent adsorbates. The results obtained from model simulations show that the breakthrough time of the adsorbate is significantly influenced by the rate of the interaction step between the adsorbate and the ligand. The results indicate that when short beds are employed, then the choice of ligand with respect to its rate of interaction with the adsorbate may be of paramount importance. In certain systems involving bivalent adsorbates, the adsorbate may be displaced from the one‐site complex, reenter the flowing fluid stream, and increase the effluent adsorbate concentration above its inlet value. It is also shown that when a single column is divided into two beds operating in a periodic counter current mode, the ligand utilization can be almost four times higher than that obtained in a column of the same length operating in the fixed bed mode. The studies on the wash stage indicate that the reduction of the concentration of the contaminant to a specified low level may be accomplished for certain systems in a shorter time, if the direction of flow in the wash stage is opposite to that used in the adsorption stage. However, a larger amount of product will be lost, in general, when the direction of flow of the washing medium is opposite to that employed during the adsorption stage. Copyright © 1988 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1097-0290; 0006-3592

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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Publication Date

01 Jan 1988