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EXCEPTIONALLY PURE DRUGS, REVOLUTIONARY ENVIRONMENTAL PROCESSES MAY RESULT FROM NEW HOECHST CELANESE SEPARATION TECHNOLOGY

 EXCEPTIONALLY PURE DRUGS, REVOLUTIONARY ENVIRONMENTAL PROCESSES
 MAY RESULT FROM NEW HOECHST CELANESE SEPARATION TECHNOLOGY
 CHARLOTTE, N.C, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Award-winning new Hoechst Celanese technology may allow development of exceptionally pure antibiotics and other life-saving drugs and could revolutionize and miniaturize wastewater treatment and other environmental processes.
 Liqui-Cel(R) membrane-assisted, liquid-liquid extraction technology developed by Hoechst Celanese's Charlotte-based Separations Products Division permits extraction and transfer of a component from one fluid to another without mixing the two liquids.
 The result is simpler, faster, lower-cost and more efficient extraction than ever before, an innovative achievement for which Hoechst Celanese recently received honors in the prestigious Kirkpatrick Award competition.
 Decades-old conventional extraction technology requires mixing and dispersing liquids in huge tanks or columns hundreds of feet tall.
 Hoechst Celanese's new liquid-liquid extraction technology uses modules ranging from a very slim unit two feet in length to units the size of a small refrigerator.
 Hoechst Celanese Product Manager Jerry Patton explains that, "By substituting a Liqui-Cel hollow-fiber-membrane extractionsystem comprised of three 24-inch-long modules, each two inches in diameter, a pharmaceutical company was able to perform an extraction that previously required two 2,500-gallon stainless steel tanks.
 "The extraction occurs at the point at which the two fluids contact one another: actually within the hollow fibers' microscopic pores.
 "The membrane itself doesn't contribute to the actual extraction and transfer of the component from one liquid to another. It is simply the vehicle for very efficiently bringing the two fluids together without mixing them."
 With the innovative Hoechst Celanese technology, industrial chemists and research and development engineers can use a much broader spectrum of solvent liquids to: derive exceptionally pure antibiotics and other life-saving drugs; more completely separate dissolved metals, hazardous chemicals or other hard-to-dispose-of substances from process liquids; more precisely extract food and beverage flavors and aromas; and pioneer a host of other such uses.
 In the environmental arena, the technology may give small communities and municipalities an affordable way to share a portable wastewater treatment system, which could be moved from site to site.
 With the benefits of miniaturization can come significant cost savings.
 The huge steel tanks and mixing units used in conventional liquid-liquid extraction can cost $150,000 or more. By contrast, the dramatically smaller Liqui-Cel modules, depending on the size and the materials used, often cost a fraction of that amount.
 The new Hoechst Celanese extraction technology arose from research conducted jointly by Hoechst Celanese and a team led by Dr. Kam Sirkar at Hoboken, N.J.-based Stevens Institute of Technology. Before the technology was commercialized, a lab-scale trial was undertaken by Hoechst Celanese and pharmaceutical maker Merck & Co.
 Separations Products Division Vice President and General Manager R. David Morris says, "This technology exemplifies the Hoechst Celanese commitment to forward-thinking research and development as well as our commitment to working with the most innovative minds in the nation's colleges and universities and other companies. We are determined to help advance technology through responsible chemistry."
 A division of Hoechst Celanese Corp., the Separations Products Division offers a broad array of membrane-based components and systems which enables customers to apply the inherent capabilities and properties of membranes to a wide spectrum of processing applications. Hoechst Celanese Corp., a subsidiary of Hoechst AG of Germany, has leading positions in chemicals, fibers, advance materials and technologies and the life sciences.
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 EDITOR'S NOTE: The Kirkpatrick Award is named for a former editor of "Chemical Engineering" magazine and is presented every two years by the chemical industry trade journal to recognize significant advances in chemical process technology.
 CONTACT: James P. Allen, 704-554-2224, or Constance C. Fuller, 704-554-2025, both of Hoechst Celanese Corporation/ CO: Hoechst Celanese Corporation ST: North Carolina IN: CHM SU: PDT


DF-CM -- CH002 -- 9040 01/13/92 11:01 EST
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Date:Jan 13, 1992
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