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Book Review Volume 3. The Practice of Biotechnology Current Commodity Products. Volume editors H. W. Blanch S. Drew and D. I. C

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tion systems, including coverage of test procedures for air
filtration. The next chapter discusses problems associated
with media sterilization. The treatment of heat management in fermentation processes in the chapter that follows
is considered to be inadequate.
The discussion of the unit operations of downstream
processing begins with the disruption of microbial cells. It
is considered that industrial use of disruption techniques
could have been given greater coverage. The chapter on
centrifugation reflects the state of technology in this area;
it even addresses sterility and containment problems and
puts forward suggestions for their solution.
Filtration processes are discussed in five chapters. Since
crossflow filtration is the process generally used today, it is
accorded considerable space. The discussion of membrane
types and membrane methods is also vivified by examples
of industrial applications. Ultrafiltration is dealt with in
two large chapters in which the theory of the process, its
economics and its biotechnological applications are discussed. The literature references on this fast growing technique are u p to date.
Liquid-liquid extractions are discussed in two chapters.
The first one in which examples relating to the production
of antibiotics are given, is not of a particularly satisfactory
standard because apart from the discussion of penicillin
extraction processes, it does not present any recent data on
extraction with organic solvents. The second of these two
chapters reviews the latest developments in aqueous phase
systems, contains a large number of tables giving examples
of applications and listing methods, and discusses scale-up
of the technology for the isolation of biopolymers.
The use of ion exchangers for the recovery of antibiotics
and proteins is addressed in two relatively short chapters.
The contributions on the unit operations of chromatography discuss methodologies and the constraints on their use
at industrial level.
The section on upstream and downstream processing
concludes with a discussion of the distillation system as a
critical cost factor in the recovery of ethanol, a chapter on
supercritical fluid extraction, and a contribution on the
state of technology in electrodialysis.
It is considered that this volume, in its treatment of fermentation technology, fails to match the quality of comparable standard works. On the other hand, some of the
unit operations addressed in the chapters on downstream
processing are described in an excellent manner.
Wulf Crueger
Bayer AG, Wuppertal (FRG)
Volume 3. The Practice of Biotechnology: Current Commodity Products. Volume editors: H . W. Blanch, S .
Drew, and D. I . C . Wung. xxv, 1136 pp., bound.-ISBN
0-08-03251 1-4
Following the discussion of the biological and engineering fundamentals of biotechnology in the first two volumes, Volume 3 provides a comprehensive overview of the
products manufactured by biotechnological processes.
The book consists of fifty chapters organized in three
sections. The first section describes the processes employed for manufacturing healthcare products. As one
might expect, the largest amount of space in this section is
devoted to processes for the production of antibiotics.
Subjects addressed in other contributions include production and purification technologies for the development of
anticancer agents; functions, production and uses of siderophores ; bioconversions of steroids ; microbial production of human proteins by recombinant DNA technology.
The inclusion in this section of additional chapters on the
production of vitamins, vaccines and immune globulins
would have completed the spectrum of products in the
healthcare sector.
In the second section of volume 3, processes are presented for the production of food and beverage products.
The main emphasis is on descriptions of the classical technologies for the production of alcoholic beverages, cheese,
fermented dairy products, bakers’ yeast, and amino acids.
Other topics addressed are biomass production and the
processes employed in the Far East for the production of
traditional fermented soybean foods.
The third and last section is devoted to those products
which, in terms of quantity, play a key role as startingmaterials for the production of industrial chemicals (organic
acids), biochemicals (hydrolytic enzymes) and fuels (ethanol).
Each of the three sections begins with a chapter dealing
with the current market situation and the general problems
of project selection and development in the particular
product category. The following chapters furnish information on development and optimization of processes for the
manufacture of individual products. Readers are provided,
inter alia, with data on the biology and physiology of the
microorganisms, on biosynthetic pathways, on production
processes and product recovery (usually illustrated by diagrams), on production costs, and on the limitations of the
different processes. These aspects are treated at varying
depth by the respective authors. Notwithstanding, in its entirety the presented information provides a most useful
overview of the state of research for anyone wishing to acquire a general insight into one of the areas covered. To
obtain knowledge of much greater depth, readers are provided at the end of each chapter with a comprehensive bibliography generally containing references also to recent
The authors of the third volume have succeeded convincingly in demonstrating how biological and engineering
principles are translated into industrial processes so that
this volume usefully complements the first two of the set.
In view of the wealth of information it contains and the
manner in which it is presented, it is considered that this
volume compares most favorably with other standard
works on industrial microbiology, and it can be recommended to anyone seeking a reference work on this field.
Worfram Andersch
Bayer AG, Leverkusen (FRG)
Volume 4. The Practice of Biotechnology : Speciality Products and Service Activities. Volume editors: C. W. Robinson and J . A . Howell. xxix, 1308 pp., bound.-ISBN 008-0325 12-2
In contrast to the preceding volumes, the fourth volume
of the set is very heterogeneous in its coverage of subject
matter. Section 1 (Specialized Activities and Potential Applications) presents diverse new biotechnologies and bioprocesses considered to show promise of finding widespread applications in biomedicine, agriculture, process
engineering and analysis. Section 2 addresses legal aspects
of biotechnology, and Section 3 examines problems associated with waste management and pollution control.
Angew. Chem. lnr. Ed. Engl. 26 (1987) No. 6
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