In satisfying its needs Mankind uses the Earth’s physical resources and fossil energy and produces products that very often are recalcitrant to biodegradation. As the earth is a closed system, the amount of matter is constant and can be recycled, although this may cost very large amounts of energy. The fossil energy reserves of system Earth, however, will simply be exhausted sooner or later. How soon this will be depends on the growth of the human population and the way it uses the Earth’s resources.Biotechnology can be defined as the use of biological systems for carying our (production) processes at an economically relevant scale. Mankind has already been using biotechnological procedures for thousands of years in the food industry. The production of drinking water and waste water treatment must also be seen as biotechnological procedures. However, for a very long time biotechnology was based on empirical knowledge. In the past decades our knowledge of the molecular processes occurring in living nature has greatly expanded and this opens the way to deliberately influencing biotechnological production processes.Biotechnology paves the way for optimising existing production processes using micro-organisms like those in the food industry and the pharmaceutical industry. Biotechnology can play a role in designing new and more environmently friendly ways of industrial production. Biotechnology opens the way to the exchange of genetic information between unrelated organisms, which can be of great importance to agriculture. Finally, biotechnology may also contribute to developments in the field of renewable energy.
Weitere Kapitel dieses Buchs durch Wischen aufrufen
- Biotechnology Applications in an Environmental Perspective
M. C. E. van Dam-Mieras
C. K. Leach
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg