Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

William M. Clark, Advisor




Expanded bed chromatography using ion-exchange media is a powerful first step in purification processes. Expanded bed chromatography can be used to extract components from complex and viscous solution. This can be achieved because of the void created between adsorbent particles where as in packed bed chromatography, the adsorbent is too compact and dense for a complex feed stock to flow through. Expanded bed chromatography was used to purify bovine serum albumin (BSA) from chicken egg white (CEW). The high viscosity of CEW presents a unique challenge for efficient large-scale protein purification. This project aimed to optimize and evaluate a separation method that is believed to be particularly suitable for high viscosity solutions: expanded-bed ion exchange chromatography. The BSA was admixed into the CEW and the solution was pumped through the column for purification. The media used in the column was Streamline DEAE which is an anion-exchanger. The yield obtained was 85% and the purity was 57%. A mathematical model to understand and predict the behavior of expanded bed chromatography was developed to provide an estimation of the breakthrough curves obtained for BSA. A small sized porous dense adsorbent was also synthesized to enhance the purification process. This zirconia-based adsorbent allows use of higher flow velocities that is a key factor when working with viscous fluids such as chicken egg white.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Chemical Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





zirconia, protein purification, anion exchange, chicken egg white, expanded bed chromatography, Proteins, Purification, Chromatographic analysis, Anions