Industrial Biotechnology- An Introduction

Industrial Biotechnology provides a wide range of new approaches to resource management, cost reduction in production, and tends to cater the higher requirements in Biotechnology, by targeting off-shoots at grass root level. Examples describing this third-wave biotechnology are the laboratory synthesis of Interleukins, monoclonal antibodies, and Insulin. If extended to its complete potential, it can have substantial impact on health care industry; offering reduced costs and environment protection.

The Evolution of Industrial Biotechnology

Industrial biotechnology is not something new to the current world. The application of industrial biotechnology dates back to 6000 BC when grapes where fermented for wine making and yeasts were employed in beer making. Gradual expansion led to the increased development of microbes in the production of cheese, vinegar, yoghurt, and other types of food products.

Later during the year 1928, the extraction of Penicillin from the mold Aspergillus by Dr. Alexander Fleming led to the development of large scale production of this miracle drug. It was not until the Second World War that Industrial Biotechnology gained immense repute.

In Association With Nature

Industrial Biotechnology involves working with nature and optimizing the various enzymes that are involved in the production of a wide range of molecules, enzymes, food, and beverages. Genomic studies on varied microbes have made researches capitalize on the great genetic diversity of these organisms, thus enabling slicing and dicing of the nuclear material to achieve unique re-combinations and products.

Bio catalysis is yet another aspect of Industrial Biotechnology that is believed to aid chemical engineers in a unique way.

The Techniques Involved

Industrial Biotechnology employs the usage of varied technologies that help to improvise on nature's enzymes. Industrial Biotechnology has laid its firm roots from three different studies based on the cell, namely, proteomics, genomics, and the application of Bioinformatics in genomics and proteomics. Applications of biotechnology in varied industrial processes is not just transforming the manufacture of products, but also paved a whole new way of manufacturing new processes that could never be imagined a few years ago.

Ongoing Research

On account of its efforts to sustain health and environment, it is also referred to as White Biotechnology. Continuous research is underway to improvise and refine the varied aspects of Industrial Biotechnology. Right from fermentation processes to enzymology, efforts are continuous for improvisation and betterment of products.

Crops and waste are being studied at a global scale for optimization of production and resources. The integration of varied diverse industries such as biochemistry, microbiology, engineering, and more have helped researches and industries advance in the arena of manufacturing and development.

However, not all research is customized for consumer usage due to certain constraints of regional factors, sustainability of production, transportation, and more.

Research to convert biomass to energy and products helps to specialize on efficiency, thus offering multiple outputs and commercialization opportunities. Energy conversion involves biological, chemical, and thermal conversion methods. Fermentation, one of the basic techniques of Industrial Biotechnology is also a means of converting energy. It helps in the release of thermal energy. Industrial Biotechnology in energy sustainment helps to focus on increased modes of efficiency, throughput, and latest sources of biomass and fuel.

Recent developments

Strategic plans have been implemented in all spheres of Industrial Biotechnology that help to maximize resources derived from the tissues of plants and animals, algae, fungi and varied microbes. Research is underway to reduce dependency of petrochemicals and its related products, thus helping the world become a low carbon target and are also aimed at reducing the levels of green house gases.

Whole-cell enzymes and approaches to the manufacture of increased value chemicals, recombinant DNA products, and antimicrobial products are aimed at being eco-friendly and less expensive at the same time. Synthetic biology and systems biology based approaches are increasing feverishly to achieve the desired goals. Interdisciplinary approach has taken the new dawn to combine several aspects of mathematics, engineering, and Industrial Biotechnology.

High-value chemical extraction from plants and improved methods of extraction and processing have laid a special focus in varied aspects of plant science, which includes modeled plants, for instance, Arabidopsis into more productive systems that function as a natural bioreactor. Animals, including the insect genera are also treated as natural bioreactors, for the synthesis of unique compounds, where the byproduct is released as a secretion or by other means.

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