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Enzymes in Industrial Biotechnology

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Enzymes, natural catalysts produced by living organisms, are the central basis of biotechnological processes. Their use dates from ancient times but their expansion exploded from 1950s to today as a result of the significant advances in the understanding of enzymes’ nature and action in the late nineteenth ...

Enzymes, natural catalysts produced by living organisms, are the central basis of biotechnological processes. Their use dates from ancient times but their expansion exploded from 1950s to today as a result of the significant advances in the understanding of enzymes’ nature and action in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Thus, the market of industrial enzymes has grown very fast and the global demand for enzymes is forecast to reach 9.6 billion dollars in 2024. In addition, about 40% of bulk chemical synthesis processes are expected to be replaced by enzymatic conversions by 2030.
Enzymes are a sustainable option to the use of harmful chemicals in the industry because they work under mild conditions, thus, reducing energy consumption, and thereby, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, enzymes reduce water consumption and chemical waste and minimise by-products generation, posing minimal risk to humans and the ecosystem. Thus, the use of enzymes is regarded as safe, cost-effective and an environmentally friendly technology.
The development of fermentation processes has made possible the large-scale production, isolation and purification of enzymes from selected strains, thus providing biocatalysts to perform efficient and cost-effective bioconversions in many industrial sectors such as the detergent, food, chemical, pharmaceutical, textile and pulp and paper. In addition, applications in bioethanol production, wastewater treatment and polymer functionalization are emerging.
Wild-type enzymes do not often meet the requirements to operate under industrial working conditions. Therefore, enzymes with improved properties and novel enzymes are required. In this context, considerable advances in protein and genetic engineering have enabled the development of more robust and efficient enzymes. Additionally, implementation of computational science with metabolic engineering and synthetic biology provides new alternatives for enzyme engineering.
This Research Topic addresses the bioprocess strategies involved in the production and application of enzymes from an industrial point of view, highlighting recent developments, advances and future trends of this enthralling field. Contributions dealing with production, overexpression, engineering, immobilization, application and bioprocess development of industrially relevant enzymes are welcome. Contributions can be original research or reviews.


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