What does an expert in process integration in the field of industrial biotechnology or synthetic biology do? First, let’s define terms. These two terms are frequently interchanged, but are not exactly synonymous; synthetic biology should be considered one of the tools used to build a commercially useful process in the field of industrial biotechnology. The key feature is that industrial processes in these areas will generally require both biological and chemical steps. Creating, scaling, and running a process that uses both biology and chemistry demands the integration of disciplines that have been traditionally practiced separately. Processes may require the chemical synthesis of a starting material that is fed to fermentation or is the starting material for a step using an enzyme. Conversely, fermentation may be practiced to generate a natural product which is then isolated and used as the starting material for multiple chemical steps. Most generally, the biological parts of the process will have been built using synthetic biology. A process which includes the manipulation of metabolic pathways in a micro-organism, the use of that organism in fermentation, the feeding of various chemical components to that fermentation, the isolation of the desired material from the biological milieu, and the chemical or enzyme steps that may follow, presents a challenge for integrating all the steps into a functional process. For example, is the product of the metabolic process the best candidate for downstream chemistry? What precursor chemicals could provide starting materials to novel metabolic processes? What impurities – such as closely related by-products that might “leak” from a novel metabolic pathway – should be anticipated by the downstream processes for isolation and purification? What is the solubility of small-molecule precursors that might be added to fermentation, and their cytotoxicity? Are any enzymatic reactions inhibited by any impurities from upstream chemical or biological steps? Are the volume and concentration requirements of biological and chemical steps matched?
Large renewable energy and biochemical consulting firms like Lee Enterprises Consulting normally offer a wide range of services in biofuels, biochemicals, industrial biotechnology, biomaterials, synthetic biology commercialization, feedstocks, and hemp/cannabis. These companies should have business and financial services like due diligence, feedstock availability, grants and loans, and bio market research. The company also offers technical and engineering-related services like techno-economic analysis, environmental evaluations, feasibility studies, risk analysis, and expert witness engagements. They might also have strategic partnerships in place to assist clients with insurance, legal, accounting, plant fabrication, feedstock procurement.
With over 150 experts worldwide, Lee Enterprises Consulting has experts in many specific clean and renewable areas, including anaerobic digestion, fermentation, biomass, conversion technologies for things like tires and railroad ties, organic synthesis, fuel additives, ethanol gas, biodiesel fuel including algae biofuels, solid-state and industrial fermentation, green energy grants, ag-biotech, agricultural waste, alcohol fuels, alternative proteins and animal-free products, sustainable foods, beverage fermentation, biocatalysis, biodiesel conversion, biogas production, biomass power, carbon intensity, co2 utilization, combined heat & power, Fischer-Tropsch technology, food waste, hydrothermal carbonization, industrial enzymes, landfill management, microbial fermentation, organic synthesis, plastic pyrolysis, plastic recycling, plastic waste, pyrolysis oil, reactor design, renewable identification number, the Renewable Fuel Standard (rfs2), solid recovered fuels, torrefaction and torrefied biomass, waste to energy, and waste-to-hydrogen. This is a multidisciplinary group of green energy consultants that is a virtual “one-stop-shop” for any client need and handles projects of all types and sizes.
Look at our experts and the services we provide. Most of our experts are also available to advise and serve as expert witnesses in bioeconomy litigation matters. For the larger projects, we specialize in putting together full-service, interdisciplinary teams with one point of contact. See a video about LEC here. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information.