SUMMARY: This paper gives details of a 50 gal. fermentation vessel designed for investigating the formation of antibiotics (or other metabolic products) by microorganisms grown in submerged culture. This vessel has been used for investigating the submerged culture production of penicillin by X 1612 and Q176, and certain results relating to the size of the inoculum and the yields obtainable from these strains in synthetic and other media have been obtained. Culture fluids containing from 400 to 500 Oxford units penicillin/ml. have been obtained with cultures of Q176 in a corn-steep liquor medium.

A method of extracting penicillin from the broth has been worked out, based on solvent transfer, the method being applicable on virtually any scale of operation and involving only relatively simple equipment. It has the advantage of reducing the time of contact of penicillin with acid to such a degree that extraction at room temperature is possible, although extraction at still lower temperatures improves the yield. Using this method of extraction we have obtained calcium penicillin with a potency of 940 Oxford units/mg., the overall recovery from the broth being of the order of 35-50%.


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