White Biotechnology Electrification May Prove to be Cost Effective, say Scientists


Published Date : Mar 12, 2015

A team of research scientists from the University of Queensland, Australia and the Germany based Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (UFZ), have concluded cheaper and greener substitute can be provided to petrochemistry via “white biotechnology” electrification. As a part of this research study, the researchers and scientists had made use of the bioprocess of the production of Lysine for evaluating the contribution of treating electricity as an energy source for bacteria. 

The research team carried out tests for observing how electricity can be used as a redox power source in place of oxidation of sugar, as a result of which the entire sugar is used up for building the molecules of lysine. In the United States and in the European Union, it is believed that costs get reduced by almost 8% to 18% when the production process is enhanced with electricity. A spokesperson at the University of Queensland has expressed that it does not take into account the savings generated in the downstream process since the quantity of by-products that gets generated is quite low. 

As per expert observations, it has been concluded that processes that make use of bio-electrochemical techniques have greater productive capacity as against the traditional bioprocesses that are mainly sugar based. Even though the additional costs needed in large scale chemicals manufacturing via bio-electrochemical techniques can’t be evaluated and examined very accurately, the process in question could perhaps offer noteworthy economic benefits and advantages eventually. It is anticipated that the segment for bio based green chemicals will witness robust growth in the forthcoming years with the help of white biotechnology that would play a pivotal role in the manufacturing process of industry chemicals.