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Extraction and Purification of Penicillin


PUBLISHED methods for the extraction and purification of penicillin1,2,3 are all based on the observation that penicillin can be extracted by ether, amyl acetate or chloroform from strongly acid aqueous solutions. Considerable losses of the antibacterial substance occur during these operations as penicillin is very rapidly destroyed in acid environment, particularly when shaken with air at room temperature.


  1. 1

    Clutterbuck, P. W., Lovell, R., and Raistrick, H., Biochem. J., 26, 1907 (1932).

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  2. 2

    Abraham, E. P., Chain, E., Fletcher, C. M., Florey, H. W., Gardner, A. D., Heatley, N. G., and Jennings, M. A., Lancet, ii, 177 (1941).

  3. 3

    Meyer, K., Chaffee, E., Hobby, G. L., Dawson, M. H., Schwenk, E., and Fleischer, G., Science, 96, 20 (1942).

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BERGER, F. Extraction and Purification of Penicillin. Nature 154, 459 (1944).

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