Large-scale chromatography has been playing an important role in downstream treatment processing in biotechnology. In order to improve the productivity, the throughput of the chromatographic equipment was often increased by increasing the flow-rate and/or by increasing the column sample loading. This paper reports the results of a study on the impact of these and other operating parameters in affinity and ion-exchange chromatographic columns when used for protein purification. A sectional model was developed to predict protein adsorption processes in a packed column. The formulations of this mathematical model are presented in the Appendix. The present study was carried out with computer simulation based on this model and using data obtained from laboratory-scale columns. This model can simulate both the adsorption and washing stages of the protein purification process for both porous and non-porous particles. The effects of changing operating parameters were simulated and contour plots were generated for the easy identification of these effects. It was shown that both flow-rate and column loading can have a considerable impact on the processing rate and the yield of the column. As for the column capacity utilization, the impact of changing flow-rate is not significant at column loading of less than 80% in the test case. It was suggest that the present investigation provides a systematic predictive strategy which will greatly reduce the need for expensive, labour-intensive and time-consuming experimental work during process scale-up. © 1995.
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