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Fine chemicals can be produced synthetically without the need for petroleum based feedstocks

Synthetic 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.

Synthetic biology can be used in the chemical industry to produce a variety of products, from short and longer chain hydrocarbons to complex aromatics. Initial applications exploiting synthetic biology 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 synthetic biology are beginning to transform the manufacturing of chemical products as engineered organisms produce materials traditionally derived from natural plants and petroleum.