AFSHEEN AMAN, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Industrial Biotechnology Section Dr. A.Q. Khan Institute of Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering (KIBGE) University of Karachi

Course # KIBGE-707

White Biotechnology
y Industrial and environmental biotechnology³

biotech·s ´third waveµ³uses biological processes to make industrially useful products in a more efficient, environmentally friendly way. y Biotechnology applications in manufacturing have already cut waste byproducts, air emissions, energy consumption and toxic chemicals in industries such as textiles and paper.

y New biotech enzymes enable the production

of ethanol from corn and cellulosic biomass. Bioethanol from cellulose generates eight to ten times more net energy than that required for its production. One gallon of cellulosic ethanol can replace 30 gallons of imported oil. y Textile mills may potentially reduce water consumption by as much as 30 to 50 percent through the use of biotechnology.

y If widely used, biodegradable

bioplastics could reduce plastics in the waste stream by up to 80 percent. If all plastics were made from biobased polylactic acid, oil consumption used in the manufacturing process would fall by 90 to 145 million barrels per year. y Biotech processes in paper manufacturing could cut toxic sludge waste volumes and paper-bleaching energy requirements by 40 percent.

y Biotechnology process changes in the

nutraceutical and pharmaceutical sector during production of riboflavin (vitamin B2) can reduce associated carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent and water pollution by 67 percent. Changes in the production of the antibiotic cephalexin reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent, energy demand by 20 percent, and water usage by 75 percent.

Environmental biotechnology
y When biotechnology is applied to and used to

study the natural environment y Development, use and regulation of biological systems for remediation of contaminated environments (land, air, water), and for environment-friendly processes.

y Environmental biotechnology can simply be

described as:

´The optimal use of nature, in the form of plants, animals, bacteria, fungi and algae, to produce renewable energy, food and nutrients in a synergistic integrated cycle of profit making processes where the waste of each process becomes the feedstock for another process".

Applications of biotechnology
y Antibodies, enzymes, microbes and even some

algae are being used as environmental monitoring and cleanup devices to protect soil and water from pollution. y Paints and cements can be made to include bacteria or enzymes to prevent the corrosion and contamination that comes from bacterial slimes, fungi or algae on outdoor surfaces such as buildings and boats. y Biotechnology-enhanced microorganisms are used in wastewater treatment and in improved biodegradation processes for landfill waste that may actually produce valuable by-products.

y Enzymes developed with biotechnology tools are

used to de-ink recycled paper, to decrease the disintegration time of recycled pulp, and to reduce papermakers· toxic waste output, their use of bleaching chemicals and energy while improving product quality.
y Biotechnology is also providing tools such as

environmentally friendly pesticides to control populations of insect pests.

y In pursuit of a better life, industrialization is

growing day by day leaving behind the pollutants in our environment. y Environmental pollution is an inevitable consequence of economic development and people·s desire to improve their quality of life. y Rapid industrialization, urbanization and other developments have resulted in a threatened clean environment and depleted natural resources.

y These pollutants can undermine our health in

various ways
y contributing to cancer y birth defects or by damaging the immune

y other health risks

Polluting Industries
y Distillery including y Thermal Power Plants y Organic solvent, y y y y y y

y y y y y y y y

Fermentation industry Fertilizer Dyes and Dye Intermediates Petrochemicals Sugar Pulp & Paper Pharmaceuticals Fertilizers and Pesticides Tanneries

chlorinated minerals Heavy and large industries Inorganic chemical industries Oil Refinery Phenols and related industries Iron & Steel Copper Smelter

Pesticides Excess fluoride

Damage the nervous system and can cause cancer Can cause yellowing of the teeth and damage to the spinal cord and other crippling diseases Blue baby· syndrome Ability to cause birth defects (teratogenicity) Can cause cancer even at low exposure levels. Can cause liver and nervous system damage, vascular diseases and also skin cancer. Dermatitis(rashes and blisters)

Nitrates Dioxins Petrochemicals Arsenics

Chemicals from paints, dyes, cosmetics

y The two problems which are receiving constant

attention of environmentalists are: 1. control of environmental pollution . 2. conservation of nature and natural resources.
y Biotechnology can also be used to develop products

and processes that generate less waste and use less non-renewable resources and energy.
y Technologies can be applied to industrial processes

to improve them and to sustain and manage the environment as well as solve environmental problems.

y Environmental Biotechnology is the use of living

organisms or biological processes in a wide variety of applications across many industries.
y Industries that benefit: 
Agriculture and intensive livestock production  Aquaculture and other marine industries Water

supply and wastewater treatment  Oil and chemical waste management  Food processing industries

y Bioremediation techniques can be used to reduce

or to remove hazardous waste which has already polluted the environment. y Bioremediation is the use of biological systems for the reduction of pollution from air or from aquatic or terrestrial systems. Microorganisms and plants are the biological systems which are generally used. y Biodegradation with micro-organisms is the most frequently occurring bioremediation option. y Some of the new techniques now under consideration make use of genetically modified organisms designed to deal efficiently with specific tasks.


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