Biotechnology & The Hope for Environmental Sustainability
The environment is an important component necessary for the existence of both mankind and other biotic organisms. The degree of sustainability of the physical environment is an index of the survival and well-being of the entire components in it.
But, human’s activities in his environment involve a lot of chemical synthesis in the process of converting the natural products in his environment into other forms convenient for his utility. In the process of creating products, the man also creates problems either consciously or unconsciously vis-à-vis pollution. The most acceptable solution to the generated wastes in the environment is such that will conveniently integrate them back into the environment.
That method involves the use of microorganisms—usually yeasts, bacteria, or fungi as a whole cell usage production system or in the form of industrial enzymes. In many cases these microorganisms or their products are integrated into the substrates which give us the products, desired in the industries, examples of these are bioleaching (biomining), bio detergent, biotreatment of pulp, biotreatment of wastes (bioremediation), biofiltration, aquaculture treatments, biotreatment of textiles, biocatalysts, biomass fuel production, biomonitoring, and so forth. These are tools (biotechnological tools), which could solve the problem of pollution and help sustain the environment.
This is so because when the products or their constituents are discarded, they go back into the ecosystem. As such, they become reconverted into organic components of the environments. Moreover, their production is strictly biological instead of chemical.