Industrial biotechnology or white biotechnology is an area of growing academic, public and private interest. The global white (or industrial) biotechnology market of ~50 billion US$ is smaller than the red biotechnology (pharmaceutical) market ( > 70 billion US$). However, industrial white biotechnology represents a greater long term business potential than red biotechnology. It is estimated that at least 20% of global chemicals (∼2290 billion US$ today) could be produced by biotechnological means in 2020. The bad news is that this potential is spread over diverse markets and various product/molecule classes. This variety is more difficult to handle on the one hand, but on the other it comes with longer life cycles. Currently there are a number of in vitro and in vivo methods available for the manufacture chemicals on an industrial scale by biotechnological means. These methods include reactions with enzymes in ordinary stirred tank chemical reactors, microbial fermentation, plant cell culture, manufacturing products with plants (pharming) or other methods. This review summarises and discusses the advantages and limitations of the different in vivo and in vitro methods which could potentially be used for the biotechnological production of chemicals.
Keywords: Industrial biotechnology, small molecule pharmaceuticals, fermentation, biotransformation, transgenic plants, microorgansms, plant cell culture
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Published on: 01 March, 2012
Page: [300 - 306]