Enzymes play a crucial role as biocatalysts, increasing the speed and efficiency and decreasing the energy consumption of biochemical reactions in many industrial processes. The advantages of using compressed propane to enhance the biocatalytic activity of an industrial enzyme are described in an article published in Industrial Biotechnology, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.
This issue of Industrial Biotechnology also includes additional original research articles as well as feature articles that describe the policy and economic issues driving biotechnology development in South America and potential regulatory challenges for biobased chemicals in the US.
"Authors contributing to this issue of Industrial Biotechnology represent the international dimension of the bioeconomy and the need to capture insights and innovations from around the globe," says Larry Walker, PhD, Co-Editor-in-Chief and Professor, Biological & Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
Marceli Fernandes Silva and colleagues from Brazil (Universidade Regional Integrada and Federal University of Fronteira Sul, Erechim; Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis and Santa Maria; and Federal University of Rio Grande) studied inulinase, an enzyme used in the food industry. In the article "Pressurized Propane: An Alternative Technique to Increase Inulinase Activity," the authors explored the potential advantages of using compressed fluids such as propane to enhance enzyme-driven biotransformation reactions. The extent to which propane affected inulinase activity depended on enzyme structure and the experimental conditions.
Another Original Research article in the Journal, by Ewumbua M. Monono and coauthors from North Dakota State University, Fargo, described models capable of predicting the chemical composition of perennial plants that will likely be important future sources of cellulosic feedstock for biofuels production. They present their work in the article "Developing and Evaluating NIR Calibration Models for Multi-Species Herbaceous Perennials."
The issue also includes the Policy Forum entitled "Despite Serious Challenges, South America's Potential in Biotechnology Cannot be Eclipsed," (http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/ind.2012.1538) in which authors Ricardo Camargo Mendes and Caio Jacon, Prospectiva Consulting, São Paulo, Brazil, present a compelling overview of the promise and challenges that lie ahead for industrial biotechnology development in South America, with an emphasis on Brazil.
Attorney Lynn Bergeson and coauthors from Bergeson & Campbell, PC and The Acta Group, Washington, DC, and Charles Auer & Associated, LLC, Poolesville, MD, offer an in-depth discussion of how and why the Toxic Substances Control Act might apply to the commercialization of biobased chemicals in the Commentary entitled "TSCA and the Regulation of Renewable Chemicals."
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