M. Franzreb & D. Holtmann
Downstream processing of biomolecules means recovery and purification of the substances from natural sources such as animal or plant tissue or fermentation broth. It is an essential step in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals (e.g., of antibiotics, hormones, antibodies, and vaccines), natural fragrance and flavor compounds, amino and organic acids or enzymes. Often, 50–70 % of the total cost of a biotechnological process comes from downstream processing. Hence, it is important to develop the latter as an integral part of the overall process. Different downstream techniques based on electrochemical methods have been developed. The key advantages of electrochemical steps in downstream processes are inexpensive cell constructions and peripheral equipment, often no influence onto product stability, easy scale-up, high energy efficiency, and easy automation.