Biotech For The Future Of Sustainable Environment

Biotech For The Future Of Sustainable Environment

Our mother planet is around 4.543 billion years old and Homosapiens only 250.000 years old but yet somehow that species, we do more damage to mother nature than any species in the history of the earth. even today we live on the edge of environmental extinction. The threat from the impact of global warming is increasingly real.

the devastating impacts of global warming such as the shrinking of the Antarctic region, and forest fires in Australia and the Amazon. This indicates that our environment is getting unsustainable. if this situation is allowed to drag on without any real action, it will definitely lead to mass extinction.

As climate change looms over our future, many industries are turning to biotechnology for solutions to make all aspects of our lives more sustainable for the environment. By using biological processes to efficiently break down waste and produce materials with lower pollution, water, land, and energy use than traditional methods. This scientific field draws from millions of years of evolution in which living beings have specialized in producing and recycling all kinds of compounds and materials.

10 Biotechnology Applications

Here are 10 out of countless applications where biotechnology could make a difference towards environmental sustainability.

Biofuels

In recent years, biofuels produced from crops have become an increasingly common alternative. Several companies are harnessing the natural ability of some microorganisms to break down agricultural or forestry waste to produce fuels. Companies such as Solaga in Germany and AlgaEnergy in Spain are researching how to produce fuels from sunlight and carbon dioxide using algae.

Eco-Friendly

Biotechnology offers an eco-friendly alternative that relies on natural mechanisms to fight pathogens. A company called Amoeba, in France, aims to use Willaertia Magna amoeba to protect crops from fungal infections such as rust disease. Agrosustain, Swiss biotech draws molecules that plants produce to protect them from mold infections. the application of this method will reduce the use of harsh and dangerous chemicals. wherein the long-term use can damage the soil and ecosystem.

Cultivated meat. 

Surprisingly the meat farming industry is one of the biggest players in poluting our environment. Biotechnology could grow meat without the animal, directly from a small sample of muscle and fat cells. This approach would also reduce the use of antibiotics in meat production as it can be created in sterile lab conditions. Apart from being animal cruelty-free it also significantly reduces the use of land, water, and energy.

Enzymatic detergents. 

This biotech product of detergent consists of specialized enzymes obtained from microorganisms that are able to break down molecules behind difficult stains, such as blood and fat. And unlike chemical alternatives, enzymatic detergents are biodegradable. In addition, enzymatic detergents can be used to clean medical equipment more thoroughly and efficiently than common cleaning solutions. Danish biotech giant Novozymes started selling the first enzymatic detergents back in the 60s.

Bioplastics

If there is an apex predator in environmental destruction plastic will reign supreme. The waste from petrochemical plastic production plants, as well as the tonnes of non-biodegradable plastic that is thrown away daily, are huge problems for the environment. New technologies that incorporate biology in the production of plastics could offer a more sustainable alternative. some of these companies are examples of those who are committed to using bioplastics. Corbion Purac and Synbra in the Netherlands and Futerro in France are using microbial enzymes to break down and recycle commonly used plastics.

Construction Materials. 

In the Netherlands, the company Green Basilisk seeks to increase the lifespan of concrete by embedding it with bacteria that repair the material when it suffers damage. US-based Biomason uses similar microbes to create cement tiles with a low-carbon footprint. With these methods, it will reduce The production of many construction materials, such as concrete, which can require toxic chemicals and large volumes of energy and water. The process also generates high levels of carbon emissions that contribute to global warming.

Textile Waste

Biotechnology could be replacing polluting chemical processes and making textile waste recyclable and biodegradable. By using enzymes to wash and bleach clothing and to prevent wool from shrinking. New technologies could allow us to go further by using microbes to produce textiles. AMSilk in Germany uses bacterial fermentation to produce spider silk fibers. Among the many applications of this material, the company is working with Adidas to make a biodegradable running shoe that does not leave waste behind.

Fermentation

Using the fermentation technology, the French biotech company Deinove is able to produce the anti-aging compound phytoene in its pure form, with the goal of using it as an ingredient for skincare products. The firm also does research into new cosmetic ingredients by studying bacteria that are able to live in the extreme conditions of hot water springs.

Fertilizers

Long-term use of chemical fertilizers can damage soil fertility and ecosystems. What’s more, it can be accidentally swallowed and digested by our bodies. A more sustainable alternative would be to replace them with living microbes that can interact with the crops to stimulate their growth and health. By engineering microorganisms to fix nitrogen for crops such as soy and peas, replacing chemical nitrogen fertilizers.

Flavoring

Today’s flavoring methods are produced through petrochemical processes. even the traditional ones extracted from plants require much land and resources. For example, traditionally 160,000 oranges are needed to produce just a liter of the orange flavoring molecule valencene. Biotech use engineered bacteria or yeast to produce these molecules in industrial vats, reliably producing large volumes of virtually any flavoring.

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