Efficient Recovery of Penicillin G by a Hydrophobic Ionic Liquid


Penicillin G is a widely used antibiotic, but the traditional volatile organic solvent extraction causes serious environmental problems. In this work, a hydrophobic ionic liquid ([Bmim]PF6) was developed as a new extraction agent for recovery of penicillin G from aqueous solutions. The extraction efficiency and the partition coefficient of penicillin G were used as the indexes to evaluate the IL extraction ability. Key factors affecting the effectiveness of recovery, such as the pH of the aqueous solution, the initial concentration of penicillin G, and the IL-to-aqueous solution volume ratio, were investigated to determine the optimal conditions. The results showed that the pH of the aqueous phase strongly influenced the success of the extraction. The optimal pH value, phase ratio, and penicillin concentration were 1.5-2.0, 1.5/1 to 2.0/ 1, and 3.00-5.00 X 10(4) units/mL, respectively, whereby the partition coefficient and extraction efficiency were more than 30 and 91%, respectively. The extraction mechanism was explored by analyzing the chemical bonds using spectrographic analysis. Preliminary results indicated that penicillin G can be effectively extracted from fermentation broth by [Bmim]PF6 with extraction efficiencies of >87%. In addition, a higher selectivity and a much lower extent of emulsification were achieved by [Bmim]PF6 compared to those of butyl acetate. It demonstrates that the IL-based extraction strategy developed in this work is promising and effective, and as a result, the development of an IL-based extraction process for the recovery of penicillin G is straightforwardly envisaged

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