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Biological Solutions to Industrial Energy Reduction
Recent developments in molecular biology make the application of biology, mostly at the enzyme level, to industrial processes economically advantageous. Recombinant DNA technologies permit the synthesis of large quantities of enzymes relatively inexpensively. Immobilization procedures permit 3-12 month lifetimes for enzymes using chemical bonding to plastics or glass or microencapsulation, permitting the use of enzymes in continuous flow applications. A variety of applications for enzymes can be readily envisioned: yield enhancement, reaction rate increases, replacement of costly rare metal catalysts now in use, or specific modification of contaminants so that they are more easily removed, for example circumventing the need for distillation. Applications now under development include, besides biomedical applications, the production of organic chemicals and the recovery of specific metal ions from waste waters; preliminary experiments for gold and silver recovery are very promising.
Fox, J. L. (1981). Biological Solutions to Industrial Energy Reduction. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from