Skip to main content

Table 2 Problems to be solved for making industrial biotechnology competitive to chemical technology

From: New challenges and opportunities for industrial biotechnology

Problems Weakness of Industrial biotechnology Possible solutions
Microorganisms grow too slow Slow: production takes days Minimizing the microbial cells
Microbes can not use mixed substrates Agricultural products are mostly mixed substrates Assembling pathways that can metabolize mixed substrates
Low conversion of substrates to products Cell metabolism turn substrates into CO2, H2O & byproducts Removing unnecessary pathways consuming substrates
High Consumption on fresh H2O Fresh H2O as medium et al. Utilization of sea water for cell growth
Microbial cells grow to very low density Product concentration low: Several mg to 100 g/L Minimizing oxygen demand for aerobic cells & reducing Quorum sensing effects
Discontinuous processing Contamination concerns Developing continuous process
Sterilization costs high High pressed steam Contamination resisting strains grown in open systems
High energy demand for intensive aeration Aerobic microorganisms need a lot of oxygen for growth Developing anaerobic bioprocesses
Difficulty to control the bio-processes Complicated cellular metabolisms Artificial cells that contain only necessary metabolic pathways
One product by one microbial organism Different organism has different strength. Development of a platform organism for many products
Organisms consume food related products Food for Fuels (Chemicals) Kitchen wastes or activated sludge as substrates
Production facility costly Costly materials and sensors The use of carbon steel facilities et al.