Engineering biology to produce fine chemicals without the need for petroleum based feedstocks

Engineering biology is set to play a critical role in helping achieve sustainability of the chemical industry as it shifts away from petroleum-based feedstock and moves towards economically viable bio-routes that use a renewable feedstock.

The chemical industry is witnessing a growth in engineering biology for the production of a variety of products, from short- and longer-chain hydrocarbons to complex aromatics. Initial applications include new bioprocessing routes to producing biofuels, polymers, cosmetics, food and agriculture, drugs, specialty aromatic chemicals and surfactants. The value of the engineering and standardisation underlining synthetic biology technology makes the resulting processes highly reproducible and scalable. Advances in engineering biology are beginning to transform the manufacturing of chemical products as engineered organisms produce materials traditionally derived from natural plants and petroleum.