10 Ways Biotechnology Contributes to a More Sustainable World
1. Renewable fuelEthanol fuel produced from biomass or starch is clean-burning and eco-friendly. Using thisbiofuel to replace fossil fuels is one way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.Genencor’s Accellerase is an enzyme that assists in the production of cellulosic ethanol. Theseenzymes break down starch into sugars, which are then fermented by yeast to create ethanol.Accellerase allows for faster fermentations, which can increase ethanol yield at a lower price.Genencor used its enzyme technology in working with the U.S. Department of Energy’sNational Renewable Energy Laboratory to help reduce costs of making renewable fuel.
2. Textile processingTextile processing today requires high temperatures and harsh chemicals toremove impurities. This process uses a lot of energy and water. Enzymesallow the same process to be done in low temperatures and withoutcorrosive chemicals.Denim manufacturers use Genencor’s PrimaGreen enzymes to create an“aged” look, while also cutting water by more than 60 percent and energyusage by more than 70 percent compared to regular processing.
3. Eco-friendly detergentsEnzyme innovation enables consumers towash laundry and dishes at lowtemperatures and in shorter cycles,reducing the use of energy and watersubstantially, but still retaining the samewash performance and results. This isespecially important as water is becoming ascarce commodity in some geographies.These detergent enzymes also reduce theneed for phosphates that can upset aquaticecosystems.
4. Fresher foodsHouseholds generate over one-third of allfood waste in the world, with vegetables,dairy and bread being the top-wastedproducts. Stale bread is often discardedwhen it is technically still edible.Enzymes like Danisco’s POWERfresh canmodify the amylopectin in flour starch duringbaking, making soft, resilient and cohesivebread with a longer shelf life.
5. Paper productionEnzymes can help reduce processingtimes, environmental impact and theamount of chemicals used in the productionof pulp and paper.Genencor’s enzymes help improveefficiency and decrease waste products.
6. BiochemicalsGenencor has created an alternative topetrochemically derived isoprene, a keyintermediate for synthetic rubberproduction. Genencor and Goodyearare collaborating to createBioIsoprene™ which helps create tiresfrom renewable resources. Asidefrom synthetic rubber for tireproduction, traditional isoprene is usedfor the production of a wide range ofproducts, such as surgical gloves, golfballs and adhesives, so the potential forBioIsoprene™ is substantial.
7. Animal feedAdding enzymes, like Danisco’sPhyzyme , Avizyme and Porzyme, toanimal feed helps break downcomplex food molecules into smallercomponents in the gut. This createslower feed costs for the producer, andreduced outputs of phosphorus andnitrogen (which can destroy aquatic lifeand have negative effects on humanhealth). This allows for more effectiveon-farm nutrient management, resultingin a cleaner environment.
8. Reusing byproductsOils recovered from grain processing can be reused forcooking oil or diesel fuels. Enzymes that are used in rawmaterial processing (such as soy or rice), helpbreakdown proteins and fibers, which helps facilitate therecovery of these oils. Genencor’s Spezyme can be usedto help recover these byproducts to convert corn, wheat,and other starches to sweeteners for soft drinks.
9. BioremediationIt’s been more than 40 years sincesoldiers have been provided with a newor improved method of decontaminationagainst chemical and biologicalwarfare. As a last resort, they have hadto use soap and water. Genencor’sDefenz enzymes are an effectivedecontamination with a long shelf-lifeand the solution works across allenvironments and conditions.
10. Efficient brewing & distillingBrewers can use enzymes to help improve filtration whenbrewing and distilling beer, which helps optimize the useof raw materials. Danisco’s Diazyme X4 NP, which isused in the production of light beers in North America,increases the amount of fermentable sugars and drivesdown calories and carbohydrates. …we’ll toast to that!