Application of membrane technologies in the pharmaceutical industry

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Membrane technologies are increasingly becoming useful components of pharmaceutical production processes. For some time, membrane separation technologies of reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration and microfiltration have been used to concentrate and purify both small and large molecules. More recent applications of membrane technologies cover a broad range of separation, concentration and purification needs. For example, pharmaceutical waste streams can be treated by nanofiltration or pervaporation to detoxify them and/or reduce the volume of waste requiring incineration. Solvent vapors can be removed/recovered from nitrogen/air emission by vapor permeation. Enantiomeric/other isomeric mixtures can be separated by liquid membranes or membrane-based multi-phase extractive enzymatic resolution. Nanofiltration or pervaporation can be used to enhance synthesis reaction conversion. High performance tangential flow filtration can be used to fractionate protein mixtures whose molecular weights differ only by a factor of 2 to 3. Membranes can also be used to integrate clarification and chromatographic processes for downstream processing of biomolecules. This review attempts to provide a perspective of these developments in laboratories, pilot plants and commercial applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)714-722
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Drug Discovery and Development
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


  • Biomolecule
  • Chromatography
  • Enantiomers
  • Membrane
  • Nanofiltration
  • Pervaporation
  • Waste incineration


Dive into the research topics of 'Application of membrane technologies in the pharmaceutical industry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this