German China India

Biochemicals

Biochemicals from the Bacterial Factory

| Author / Editor: Taken from PROCESS India No. 2 April 2014. See Footnote for further details / Dominik Stephan

The advantage of using microorganisms to produce components needed for substances such as polyurethanes is that they rely on biomass such as corn starch or straw as base materials
The advantage of using microorganisms to produce components needed for substances such as polyurethanes is that they rely on biomass such as corn starch or straw as base materials (Picture: Bayer MaterialScience)

Oil as a natural resource is becoming scarcer and more expensive and there is a need to look at eco-friendly ways of extracting it, thereby reducing CO2 emissions. White biotechnology offers a solution: scientists are now using microorganisms such as bacteria to generate substances for the production of polymers. The advantage is that these miniature biochemical factories run on renewable resources or agricultural waste converting it into valuable chemicals.

Although they have never been to a university and haven’t earned a doctorate, bacteria are nonetheless talented chemists. During the course of evolution, their biochemical metabolic pathways have been optimized in every detail turning them into tiny natural chemical factories that can produce substances such as alcohol or penicillin, for instance. “The challenge currently facing scientists is how to carefully interweave chemistry and biotechnology,” states Head-New Technologies, CAS Innovation, Bayer MaterialScience, Dr Gesa Behnken.

Fermentation– Mother Natzure's Biotech–Miniplant

Fermentation is a biochemical process that has long been an established component of the food industry and the pharmaceutical sector. Microorganisms manufacture protein building blocks, amino acids and the insulin vital to diabetics via this process. Bayer HealthCare has been using fermentation for years now to produce blood-clotting Factor VIII for hemophiliacs. In the future, the miniature biological factories will also help replace what is currently the most important fuel for the global economy – oil.

The tiny life forms may soon save large quantities of the primordial black substance in particular in the production of plastic. Scientists are now able to make the bacteria produce large quantities of individual plastic building blocks known as monomers.

New Production Plant to Use CO2 for Polyurethane Foams

Plastics from Exhaust

New Production Plant to Use CO2 for Polyurethane Foams

05/14/2014 - A new role for a climate killer: Bayer plans to use CO2 as a source of carbon for the production of polyol for PU-foams. The company now wants to invest around € 15 million in a first industrial production site.. read...

Oils, Sugar and Starches for Plastic Production

The advantage of the biotech procedure is that the microorganisms rely on biomass as a base material. “Our goal is to use this method to become more independent of oil as well as to ultimately reduce the CO2 emissions from our production,” says Behnken.

Together with her colleagues, Behnken is seeking to gradually replace material flows that are still based on fossil resources with biogenic procedures. “In the future, we also want to use biological methods to generate substances we need in large quantities,” adds Behnken.

Comments are being loaded ....

Leave a comment

The comment is checked by an editor and will be released soon.

  1. Avatar
    Avatar
    Edited by at
    Edited by at
    1. Avatar
      Avatar
      Edited by at
      Edited by at

Comments are being loaded ....

Report comment

Kommentar Freigeben

Der untenstehende Text wird an den Kommentator gesendet, falls dieser eine Email-hinterlegt hat.

Freigabe entfernen

Der untenstehende Text wird an den Kommentator gesendet, falls dieser eine Email-hinterlegt hat.

copyright

This article is protected by copyright. You want to use it for your own purpose? Infos can be found under www.mycontentfactory.de (ID: 42713531 / Business & Economics)