Biotech for the Low-Carbon Chemicals Industry

From Mandelson: Biotech to plant seeds for low-carbon chemicals industry

Industrial biotechnology – the use of plants in producing materials and chemicals – has the potential to cut greenhouse gas emissions across the EU chemicals industry by five per cent by 2020, according to a government report released today.

The study, which also estimated that the sector could reduce its energy bill by more than two per cent through wider use of biotechnology, found that engineered biochemicals made from organic matter such as funghi and algae could replace many of the fossil fuels widely used by the chemicals sector.

Industrial biotechnology uses knowledge about genomes and complex cell functions to develop new processes for making products such as industrial enzymes that can replace fossil fuels in the manufacture of chemicals. It can also be used to reduce the toxicity of waste produced by the manufacture of chemicals.

Is industrial biotech now going to get the public attention it deserves, now that it’s being tied to the ‘green’ movement?


About Chris MacDonald

I'm a philosopher who teaches at Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management in Toronto, Canada. Most of my scholarly research is on business ethics and healthcare ethics.
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