- Created on Sunday, 16 September 2012 19:40
Bio-based products are non-food or feed products produced by plants, animals or microbes using traditional and modern techniques of biotechnology. Europe is a major producer of bio-based products including its large enzyme and chemical sectors. Traditionally enzymes were harvested directly from plant and animal tissues. Now the genes that make these enzymes have been transferred into yeast or bacterial cells and enzymes are produced in large fermentation vessels using a process similar to brewing. Similarly, chemicals that were synthesised in energy-intensive processes are being produced by living cells from which they are purified and extracted.
Biofuels provide energy from waste biological material, such as ethanol from maize stalks and leaves, methane from sewerage plants and diesel from vegetable oils. The major benefit of bio-based products is that they are renewable and, if correctly managed can be sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels, which are becoming scarce.