10 Biotech Branches that Will Boost Research on Environment
The environment is a crucial component necessary for the survival of both man and other organisms. It is not only sufficient to dispose off toxic/deleterious substances with any method. But one has to find ways to sustain the environment such that it returns back all the components (wastes) in a recyclable way. In this way, the waste will become indispensable and help the biotic and abiotic relationship to maintain a healthy equilibrium.
Some of the branches of biotechnology that will support environmental research are mentioned below.
#1. Phytoremediation sewage treatment
The process has been developed to degrade dyes from textile industrial effluent. The procedure employs the application of plants for the remediation of wastewater. As per the research, the process has the potential for textile dyes and effluent treatment. Moreover, ongoing studies explore plants in a constructed wetland system for textile effluent treatment at the industry level.
There exist various types of Phytoremediation. In Rhizosphere biodegradation, the plant releases natural substance via its roots. This provides microorganisms with nutrients. Furthermore, the chemical compounds produced by the plants immobilize contaminants in Phyto-stabilization.
Plastic waste is one of the big environmental issues we’re currently facing. The immense environmental issues are the waste from petrochemical plastic processing plants and several tons of non-biodegradable plastic thrown away every day.
Avantium is developing methods in Amsterdam to manufacture 100% recyclable bioplastics from forestry and agricultural waste. The company is working to produce reusable bottles and yogurt cups with Coca Cola and Danone. In France, Carbios, in partnership with brands like L’Oreal, Pepsi and Nestlé Waters, is focusing on the processing of widely used plastics using microbial enzymes.
#3. Enzymatic Detergents
One of the industrial biotechnology’s earliest uses is stronger and more sustainable detergents. They consist of specialized microorganism-derived enzymes that can break down molecules behind difficult stains, such as fat and blood. And enzymatic detergents are biodegradable, unlike chemical equivalents.
New generations of enzymatic detergents have become increasingly successful over time. A main benefit is that they can work at lower temperatures. This could reduce the amount of energy spent on washing clothes significantly, especially as enzymatic detergents account for about 50 percent of the market.
The greatest culprit behind air pollution is fossil fuels. Biofuels produced from crops have become an increasingly popular alternative in recent years. However, these crops are beginning to compete for agricultural land, which can lead to deforestation and increasing food prices.
Several businesses are exploring certain microorganisms’ natural capacity to break down agricultural or forestry waste in order to manufacture fuels. This is one of the objectives of the French company Global Bioenergies, which works with Audi to manufacture petrol from renewable sources. Swiss Clariant, in association with ExxonMobil is also working on cellulose sugars for biofuel production.
Harsh chemicals that can pollute the atmosphere and be harmful to humans, as well as other forms of life, are used in current methods to get rid of dangerous pathogens. An eco-friendly alternative that relies on natural mechanisms to combat pathogens could be provided by biotechnology.
The French company, Amoeba aims to use Willaertia Magna amoeba to get rid of fungi in crops. Agrosavfe in Belgium engineers proteins inspired by llama antibodies to design molecules that can selectively kill crops infections. Swiss biotech Agrosustain draws from molecules from plants/crops that protect them from mold infections.
Traditionally, most flavorings have been derived from plants, unlike today where petrochemical processes are used. An environmentally sustainable option that does not need as much land and energy as conventional approaches could be given by biotechnology. If you require further information on the subject matter, you can seek assignment help from professional experts.
Instead, bacteria or yeast can be modified to generate these molecules in industrial vats. Evolva, in Switzerland, which produces the natural sweetener stevia, is a pioneer in this region. Phytowelt in Germany and Isobionics in the Netherlands are other companies that produce flavorings through biotechnological methods.
As a supplementary, sustainable and eco-friendly source of plant nutrients, biofertilizers are a promising tool for agricultural ecosystems. They are microbial inoculants that can usually be described as a preparation containing effective nitrogen fixation strains, phosphate solubilization, and cellulite microorganisms containing live or dormant cells, etc.
That’s the objective of companies like Kapsera in France, Aphea.Bio in Belgium and Xtrem Biotech in Spain. Chemical giant Bayer recently agreed to get on board and formed a joint venture with Ginkgo Bioworks to engineer nitrogen fixing microorganisms for crops such as soy and peas, replacing chemical nitrogen fertilizers.
Fast fashion is not sustainable. However, biotechnology can resolve its detrimental impact by removing polluting chemical processes and rendering textile waste recyclable and biodegradable. Enzymes are already routinely used to disinfect and bleach fabrics and to avoid the shrinkage of wool. By using microbes to produce textiles, new technologies could allow us to go further.
AMSilk in Germany, produces spider silk fibers using bacterial fermentation. The company is working with Adidas to create a biodegradable running shoe that does not leave waste behind. Businesses such as Colorifix in the UK and Pili in France are also investigating the use of microbes to generate sustainable textile dyes.
#9. Construction Materials
Toxic chemicals and large quantities of energy and water are needed for the production of many construction materials, such as concrete. The procedure also creates high carbon emissions that lead to global warming. Thus, it is wise if we look for alternatives, preferably biotechnology-based.
Biohm is manufacturing building materials from organic waste in London. It does this with mushrooms, which can be fed various types of wastes to create a substance with customized characteristics. Green Basilisk aims to increase the lifetime of concrete in the Netherlands by combining it with bacteria that restore the material when it undergoes damage.
Many natural cosmetics contain plant-derived active ingredients. However, relative to the amount of soil, water, and energy necessary to grow it, the amount produced from a plant can be very small for some of these ingredients.
Via microbial fermentation, Bioeffect in Iceland or Biossance in the US are looking at more sustainable compound production. Thanks to this technology, the first pure form of the anti-aging compound phytoene was introduced last year by the French biotech firm Deinove. By researching bacteria that are able to survive in the harsh conditions of hot water springs, the company also explores new cosmetic ingredients.
As you can see, the research possibilities are immense as far as biotechnology is concerned. If you want to more, you should keep an eye on the science journals, YouTube, blog posts, and various websites.
Author Bio: Richard McMore is a biotechnology expert and he has been associated with several important projects over the years. At present, he is associated with MyAssignmenthelp.com, where he supervises the assignment help service.