chapter  1
34 Pages


An integral part of the study of biochemical science is devoted

to the separation and analysis of a particular substance. There-

fore, if we look behind revolutions in life science, we find highly

developed separation techniques. For instance, in the field of

genetic engineering, which has been progressing very rapidly

for the last decade, the first step is the isolation of genes. Al-

though there are several different methods for this step, each

method is supported by various types of effective and sophisti-

cated separation techniques. If the basic science thus estab-

lished is directed to the production of a useful compound, the

productivity may be sometimes expected to be more than a hun-

dred times or more compared with that using conventional meth-

ods. However, the overall productivity of the production process

cannot be increased to as high a level as we expect from con-

ventional production processes, and often industrialization of the

new process is abandoned. This may be partly due to the high

costs of energy and raw materials, since for the same amount of

final product, the minimum energy and raw materials necessary

for production are the same. However, the separation steps that

follow the production step are often critical to the overall ef-

ficiency. The separation step is called a downstream treatment

whose importance has been gradually recognized in the practical

application of biotechnology.