Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Industry Biotech

The so called “White Biotechnology” is the use of living cells—from yeast, moulds, bacteria and plants—and enzymes to synthesize products that are easily degradable, require less energy and create less waste during their production (Embo).

Some examples of industrial biotechnology are: Bio-based polymers (can be used to create more environmental friendly plastic), biological processes for vitamin production, or the use of enzymes for industrial textiles. The existing scope of the Industrial Biotechnology includes:
· Biological feedstock as a renewable resource
· Industrial processes using biological systems
· Biological remediation technologies
This means that Industrial Biotech will have an impact in the raw materials, the industrial production, and the waste management.

Industrial Biotechnology can be really helpful to diminish the environmental problems present in our world. Some of the environmental benefits due to the use of Industrial Biotech are shown in the following table:

osufpowejofjowjfojgojre Image by http://www.europabio.org/TPWhite/2Bio4EU_industrial_OW_Apr07.pdf
As shown before, biotechnology can be applied in areas diverse areas such as textile, paper and cleaning industries, and will have positive environmental impacts. Enzymes offer a biological route and often cleaner solution for industry than the traditional chemical processes to make products.

The application of biotechnology to industrial production is shows a lot of potential but still many products are not yet economically viable to be launched to the market. Research & Development in this area is still reduced, and a lot of investment is needed to make the break through between scientific discoveries to product launching.

Want to know more about this topic?
The European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology 2008 will take place from the 15-17 September in Brussels, Belgium. If you are able to go, don’t miss it! It sounds really promising.
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