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VTT Uses biotechnology in new applications

It is possible to produce bioethanol and other valuable chemicals, such as bioplastics, by utilising the metabolism of cells

It is possible to produce bio ethanol and other valuable chemicals, such as bio plastics, by utilizing the metabolism of cells

The Technical Research Centre of Finland, VTT has developed yeast-based methods for efficient production of bio fuel from agricultural waste. In addition to bio ethanol, several other valuable chemicals, such as bio plastics, xylitol, pigments and medicines, can be produced by utilizing the metabolism of cells. The engineering of the cellular metabolism enables efficient biotechnological production of chemicals and the utilization of bio masses as the main raw material to replace oil as raw material. In the extensive research program also new ways of utilizing enzymes in industry have been developed. Utilizing these enzyme technologies new application characteristics e.g. for wood fibres can be developed, including changes in their electrical conductivity as well as their hygroscopic or hydrophobic characteristics.

The US chemical industry has estimated that 25% of organic chemicals will be produced from renewable raw materials by 2020, while the current proportion is approximately 5%. The estimate in respective European forecasts is 30% by 2025. Utilizing natural resources through bio technical methods has been one of the aims of the six-year Industrial Biotechnology Research Programme at VTT. The research programme has been part of VTT's strategic technology research belonging to Clean World Technology theme. Further to this it is one of the Finnish Centres of Excellence chosen by the Academy of Finland. The research focuses on the utilization of renewable natural resources.

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Merja Penttilä
Reasearch professor
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Kristiina Kruus
Group Manager
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Olli Ernvall
Communications Director
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