The economically-efficient separation of formic acid from acetic acid and succinic acid has been a key issue in the production of formic acid with the Actinobacillus bacteria fermentation. To address this issue, an optimal three-zone simulated moving bed (SMB) chromatography for continuous separation of formic acid from acetic acid and succinic acid was developed in this study. As a first step for this task, the adsorption isotherm and mass-transfer parameters of each organic acid on the qualified adsorbent (Amberchrom-CG300C) were determined through a series of multiple frontal experiments. The determined parameters were then used in optimizing the SMB process for the considered separation. During such optimization, the additional investigation for selecting a proper SMB port configuration, which could be more advantageous for attaining better process performances, was carried out between two possible configurations. It was found that if the properly selected port configuration was adopted in the SMB of interest, the throughout and the formic-acid product concentration could be increased by 82% and 181% respectively. Finally, the optimized SMB process based on the properly selected port configuration was tested experimentally using a self-assembled SMB unit with three zones. The SMB experimental results and the relevant computer simulation verified that the developed process in this study was successful in continuous recovery of formic acid from a ternary organic-acid mixture of interest with high throughput, high purity, high yield, and high product concentration. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.