What is Biotechnology?
Biotechnology is a versatile toolbox of increasing importance in a time when our planet is facing climate change and a growing population. Fundamental knowledge about the tools that nature is providing us with, such as microorganisms and their enzymes, combined with modern tools of computation, molecular engineering and process development will play a vital role for the transition to a more sustainable society.
Environment-friendly processes for the production of carbon neutral chemicals, materials and energy will gradually replace today’s chemical processes based on fossil raw materials. Biotechnological processes can also be used for the remediation of soil and water, provide healthy food or for the development of pharmaceuticals and diagnostic methods of the future.
Research and focus areas at the division of Biotechnology
At the Division of Biotechnology, the research has been directed towards developing environmentally benign processes for many years, and is now receiving increasing attention due to the intensified focus on shifting to a biobased economy.
The core competence at the division around enzyme technology, gene technology, cell cultivation techniques, bioseparation, and bioanalysis forms a platform for research in this area. We have positioned a great part of our research in the field of industrial biotechnology with special emphasis on the BIOREFINERY concept, illustrated in the overall picture below.
The research is focused around the development of the biotechnical tools - microorganisms and enzymes - and the processes used for conversion of renewable feedstock into platform- and fine-chemicals, healthy food, materials and energy. Biogas research has long been a focus area at the division and integrates well with the biorefinery aligned research.
Bioremediation of soil and water is another focus area where research for a cleaner environment involves both degradation of textile dyes as well as removal of non-degradable compounds such as heavy metals and pharmaceutical residues. The use of biomolecules in the design and construction of analytical tools is another important research area which involves ultrasensitive capacitive biosensors for diagnostics and process analytical tools. Since long, Division of Biotechnology has also engaged in research around new materials for application in biotechnology and medicine.