Next generation industrial biotechnology based on extremophilic bacteria
Guo-Qiang Chen, Xiao-Ran Jiang
MOE Key Lab on Bioinformatics, School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China.
Industrial biotechnology aims to produce bulk chemicals including polymeric materials and biofuels based on bioprocessing sustainable agriculture products such as starch, fatty acids and/or cellulose. However, traditional bioprocesses require bioreactors made of stainless steel, complicated sterilization, difficult and expensive separation procedures as well as well-trained engineers that are able to conduct bioprocessing under sterile conditions, reducing the competitiveness of the bio-products. Amid the continuous low petroleum price, next generation industrial biotechnology (NGIB) allows bioprocessing to be conducted under unsterile (open) conditions using ceramic, cement or plastic bioreactors in a continuous way, it should be an energy, water and substrate saving technology with convenient operation procedure. NGIB also requires less capital investment and reduces demand on highly trained engineers. The foundation for the simplified NGIB is microorganisms that resist contaminations by other microbes, one of the examples is rapid growing halophilic bacteria inoculated under high salt concentration and alkali pH. They have been engineered to produce multiple products in various scales.