Industrial Biotechnology Demonstrates Its Vast Potential at BIOTECHNICA 2013  
6/18/2013 10:18:04 AM

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Hannover, Germany. The industrial biotechnology sector has firmly established itself as a powerhouse of innovation for the real world. Biological systems are already employed in the sustainable manufacture of a diverse range of products – for example, in the chemical industry, in food production as well as for consumer goods such as cosmetics and laundry and cleaning products. Business experts estimate that worldwide sales of enzymes used in industry amounted to approx. 3.5 billion US dollars in 2011, which is equivalent to a growth rate of over six percent. In Germany, as many as 61 companies are at present solely or at least largely engaged in the field of industrial biotechnology. This will be clearly reflected at BIOTECHNICA 2013. Major players such as BASF, Evonik, Bayer and Henkel are fully committed to what has been coined the “biologizing of industry”. In fact, the combination of biotechnological and chemical processes has now been practised for a considerable period of time.

BIOTECHNICA 2013 aims to attract more attention to industrial or white biotechnology than in the past. To this end Deutsche Messe AG is teaming up with DECHEMA (the German Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology) to bring together various players in industrial biotech at the BiobasedWorld forum during BIOTECHNICA 2013. This event on 8 and 9 October (Tuesday and Wednesday) offers experts from the fields of chemistry, biotechnology and process technology an excellent opportunity to speak with potential cooperation and business partners. As of August companies can visit – a platform affording numerous opportunities to showcase technology and expertise, as well as learn about what others have to offer and identify interesting contacts.

Industrial biotechnology not only offers ground-breaking opportunities for new processes and products – it is also responsible for the development of exciting new raw materials. It is difficult to exploit biomass using chemical methods, however microorganisms and enzymes can be used in a controlled way to breakdown complex compounds and “digest” them to form useful intermediate products.

In order to avoid any competition with the food production sector, scientists and industry are keen to utilize waste products – for example, from food production itself. This topic will be discussed in detail at the BiobasedWorld forum on Thursday, 10 October. In view of the fact that a large portion of this waste is already being used as animal feed or in the generation of energy, a major issue on the agenda will be the availability of such resources.

Of course, the diversity of the waste products also opens up many interesting possibilities for the production of materials suitable for hitherto expensive applications in the pharmaceuticals and cosmetics sector. Many biogenic waste products originating in the food industry possess potentially interesting chemical properties that can be usefully utilized – not only straw, husks or press cake from oil production, but also fruit peel, the shells of crustaceans, whey and other protein-rich waste materials. The potential for the processing and utilization of diverse biowaste products will be explored and discussed at the BiobasedWorld lecture program.

The concluding event is a panel discussion which will focus on the technical and business potential, as well as the conditions required to successfully exploit waste products.

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