Industrial biotechnology (known mainly as white biotechnology) is the application of biotechnology for industrial purposes, including industrial fermentation. It includes the practice of using cells such as microorganisms, or components of cells like enzymes, to generate industrially useful products in sectors such as chemicals, food and feed, detergents, paper and pulp, textiles and biofuels. In the current decades, significant progress has been done in creating genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that enhance the diversity of applications and economic viability of industrial biotechnology. By using renewable raw materials to produce a variety of chemicals and fuels, industrial biotechnology is actively advancing towards lowering greenhouse gas emissions and moving away from a petrochemical-based economy.
Industrial biotechnology is the modern use and application of biotechnology for the sustainable processing and production of chemicals, materials and fuels from renewable sources, using living cells and/or their enzymes. This field is widely regarded as the third wave of biotechnology, distinct from the first two waves (medical or red biotechnology and agricultural or green biotechnology).
Biotechnological processing uses enzymes and microorganisms or plant/animal cells to make products in a wide range of industrial sectors including chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food & feed, detergents, pulp & paper, textiles, energy, materials and polymers. Much interest has been generated in industrial biotechnology mainly because this field is associated with reduced energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and waste generation, and may enable the paradigm shift from fossil fuel-based to bio-based production of value-added chemicals. Raw materials, including crops and organic by-products from agricultural sources and households are converted into sugars, which can be readily converted by tailor-made microorganisms or enzymes into the desired product. The fundamental force that drives the development and implementation of industrial biotechnology is the market economy, as biotechnology promises highly efficient processes at lower operating and capital expenditures.
Biochemical Engineering is another important discipline of industrial biotechnology. It deals with the design & development of bioprocesses and equipment for the manufacturing of bioproducts. Biotechnological processes can be complex and difficult to control; nevertheless, they obey the laws of chemistry and physics and therefore amenable to engineering analysis. Therefore, bioprocess engineering is the fusion of biological knowledge and engineering skills.
Engineering aspects required in bioprocessing include design & operation of bioreactors, sterilizers and product recovery equipment; development of systems for process automation & control and layout of efficient as well as safe biotech industries. The study on the optimization of yield of final product at industrial scale as well as maintenance of its quality also comes in the preview of bioprocess engineering.
Political and societal demands for sustainability and environment-friendly industrial production systems, coupled with depletion of crude oil reserves and a growing world demand for raw materials and energy will continue to drive this trend forward. Government policies including tax incentives, mandatory-use regulations, research & development, commercialization support, loan guarantees and agricultural feedstock support programs have also helped a lot to the adoption of industrial biotechnology.
Having recognized the importance of industrial biotechnology for the accelerated growth of the country. Industrial Biotechnology Directorate is established in the Bio and Emerging Technology Institute to undertake research and development activities. Companies focusing on industrial biotechnology and bioeconomy are contributing towards achieving 11 out of 17 Global Sustainable Development Goals, enabling smarter and more efficient use of precious natural resources, developing renewable alternatives to traditional fossil-carbon products, helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change, reducing energy consumption and man-made emissions to soil, air, and water.
- Enzyme Technology
- Food and Nutrition
- Biochemicals and Biomaterials
- Supporting Research and Development
- Promoting Research Institute – Industry Partnership
- Serving as Nodal Point for International Collaborations
- Working on Human and Infrastructure Capacity Building
- Preparing Draft Policies and Strategies
- Transferring Developed, Adopted and adapted Technologies
- Playing a Major Role in the Field of Industrial Biotechnology in Ethiopia
1. Enzyme Technology
- Production of Enzymes for food processing
- Isolation and production of Microbial strains
- Production of Enzymes for textile application
- Production of Enzymes for tannery production
- Production of Enzymes for biofuel production
- Production of Yeasts for various application
2. Food and Nutrition
- Biofortification of staple crops
- production of probiotics
- production of dairy starter culture
- Fermentation technology (brewing, wine making, 3bread) and bioreactors development
- Biosensors and biomarkers for food quality assessment
- Microbial production of food and ingredients
- Food applications of algae
3. Biochemicals and Biomaterials
- Production of agrochemicals
- Production of additives and preservatives
- Extraction, characterization and production of phytochemicals
- Replacing plastic with biodegradable materials
- Production of industrial biochemicals from wastes
- Production of value added biotechnological products
- Production of biomaterials for medical application
|Name of Researcher||Qualification/ Field||Area of research interest or Specialization||email address|
|Brook Esseye||Study leave||brookesse[at]yahoo.com|
|Selamawit Tadesse||Study leave||yeselamt[at]gmail.com|
|Yosef Sisay||Study leave||yosephsisay2[at]gmail.com|
|Kidanemariam Wagaw||Study leave||kidanwagaw[at]gmail.com|
|Gashaw Muluken||Study leave||gasawtese[at]gmail.com|
|Elsa Beyene||Study Leave||elsabeyene3[at]gmail.com|