White Biotechnologies relate to industrial processes. Their ambition is to sustainably produce biochemicals, biomaterials and biofuels on an industrial scale and from renewable resources.
White biotechnologies, old biotechnologies
In ancient times, yeasts were used for the production of beers and enzymes contained in animal excrement for skin tanning. More recently, biochemical engineering has exploited microorganisms to produce chemical or biological compounds. In addition, genetic discoveries have only accelerated developments.
Example of industrial biotechnologies: biocatalysis
Among the processes implemented by white biotechnologies is the use of enzymes – proteins produced by all living organisms – as chemical reaction catalysts. Unlike chemical catalysts, enzymes are relatively energy efficient and environmentally friendly, especially in the paper manufacturing or detergent production sector.
White biotechnology and fermentation
Some microorganisms, such as yeasts or bacteria, are able to transform organic substances (sugars, oils, etc.) into a wide range of products. For example, some bacteria use corn sugar as fuel to carry out their cellular processes. The result is a polymer by-product, a bioplastic, in short.