Bio Catalysis (enzymes)

Although industrial catalysts have had a huge impact on reducing energy use and waste, some of the most impressive catalysts are in biological systems. These are the enzymes that control processes in living organisms. They usually generate very specific products, and operate effectively at ambient temperatures and pressures.

Traditional Bio-catalysis

Bio-catalysis has been in use for thousands of years for the production of ethanol using yeast, and this remains an important method for industrial production. More details can be found in the ethanol section.

photo: magnified yeast

Enzymes find wide use as catalysts, particularly in food and pharmaceutical production. For more information on applications of enzyme catalysis, see the catalysis-ed site.

New Bio-catalysis

Gene technology has enabled the development of modified strains of yeast and bacteria that are able to synthesise a wider range of products. This has found practical application in several areas.

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