The global market for Marine Biotechnology is projected to reach US$6.1 billion by 2025, driven by the rise of “circular economy” as the blueprint for a new sustainable economy in the 21st century. Against the backdrop of this age of “Sustainalism”, marine biotechnology is in the spotlight as it carries an ocean of answers to several of the stubborn conventional polluting practices currently adopted. From addressing the plastics threat by using marine organisms to produce eco-friendly chemicals like biopolymers, developing microbial energy as an environmentally-friendly alternative to crude oil and gas to developing natural and safe life-saving pharmaceuticals, marine biotechnology holds answers to several of the most urgent and pressing questions faced today. The global bioplastics and biopolymers market is increasingly looking towards new advances made in marine biotechnology to develop completely new class of biodegradable biopolymers. New research has revealed the ability to process crabs, shrimp, and prawn biowastes into naturally occurring biopolymers “chitin” and “chitosan”. Chitosan, like Polylactic acid (PLA), also features beneficial characteristics such as biocompatibility, biodegradability, non-toxicity, antimicrobial activity, high mechanical strength, and chemical inertness. Marine biotechnology is also immensely influencing the energy industry. The development of new ways to produce microbial energy and microbial energy conversion holds immense promise in utilizing available forest biomass inventory for generating electricity. New concepts like “Microbial Fuel Cells” are also taking flight backed by the progress made in this field.  While food crops and ligno-cellulosic plant biomass have long been studied and commercialized as an alternative feedstock for biofuels production, new developments in marine biotechnology are helping bring even marine macro algae “Ulva Lactuca” as a potential feedstock for the production of bio-ethanol and biogas production.  Energy production from marine biomass is therefore an exciting example of how marine biotechnology can change our energy production practices.  Read More…


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