Enzymes are used in the production of ethanol. Ethanol has many different properties and can be used in a wide-range of products such as beverages, green chemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastics, cosmetics, industrial products (solvents, paint) and, increasingly, as a renewable transport fuel. In this case it is called bioethanol.
Bioethanol is a sustainable alternative to fossil based petrol (gasoline) and has the advantage of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport by up to 90%. This is relevant considering transport is responsible for a quarter of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. That share is rising and biofuel such as bioethanol is the only currently available way to effectively turn this tide.
Enzyme technology has already enabled bioethanol to reduce the environmental impact of transport in many countries across the globe. In Europe, most petrol contains up to 5% of ethanol, with proven CO2 emission savings. Since 2003, the use of European bioethanol led to greenhouse gas emissions reductions equivalent to taking 4.6 million cars off the European roads for 1 year.
Moreover, European bioethanol also provides energy independence, while creating local green jobs.
The textile industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. The problem is the traditional, extensive use of chemicals, energy and water to meet the needs of the fashion industry. For instance, it takes about 150,000 liters of clean water to make one ton of knitwear.
Industrial enzymes can help meet legislative requirements and significantly reduce the need for chemicals, water and energy in the textile industry. At the same time the use of enzymes cuts costs for textile producers and improves the textile quality.
At each step of the production process, enzymes can provide solutions.
It has been estimated in 2009 (ADD WWF ref) that if the world’s textile industry implemented the whole range of enzymatic solutions in the production of cotton textiles they would save:
· 28% of water consumption. That is 1,250 bn liters of water.
· 80% of chemical consumption. That is 10 mn tons of chemicals.
· up to 25% of energy consumption. That is 50 bn MJ for heating and 5 bn kWh for electricity
Turning raw leather into finished goods involves multiple processes in which enzymes can be used to optimize quality and yield while reducing costs and environmental pollution.
Enzymes enable you to wash your laundry at lower temperatures
Enzymes have been key ingredients in detergents since the early 1960s. They undertake the removal of stains of animal or plant origin, by breaking them down and increasing their water solubility and removal.
Food stains are quite complex: containing protein, starch, and fat all mixed together. By combining different enzymes in a detergent, these food soils are removed more efficiently, utilizing synergies between each enzyme's cleaning abilities.
Enzymes clean fabrics at lower washing temperatures, and thus there is no longer a need to wash at high temperatures as before, in order to break these food stains down. By encouraging consumers to wash at lower temperatures (in particular, 30°C and below) significant energy savings can be achieved.
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These low temperature enzyme systems, like all enzymes, are biodegradable. Treatment in sewage treatment plants of water used for washing will result in degradation of enzymes with no significant release to the environment.
Enzymes bring additional benefits to detergents, beyond enabling them to wash at lower temperatures.
Enzymes help to meet the modern consumer’s desire for high performance, ease and convenience in dishwashing.
Just like in laundry, food leftovers on dishes are quite complex: containing protein (for example cheese), starch (pasta), and fat all mixed together. By combining different enzymes in a dish detergent, these food particles are removed more efficiently, utilizing synergies between each enzyme's cleaning abilities.
Enzymes degrade stains into smaller, more water-soluble parts that can be removed more easily during washing. There are a variety of stain removal enzymes:
o protease for protein stain removal;
o amylase for starch stain removal;
o lipase for grease, fatty and oily stains removal;
o pectin-degrading enzyme for pectin-based stain removal.
o cellulase for cellulose removal
PAPER & PULP
Historically, enzymes were found in the paper industry for uses mainly confined to raw starch modifications, to provide more downstream applications for the starting material. Since the mid 1980’s and with the beginning of public awareness of sustainability issues, the pulp and paper industry has also been seeking enzymatic solutions in order to reduce its environmental impact. Enzymes improve efficiency and reduce waste products in the paper industry. They help reduce processing times, and the amount of chemicals used in processing of the material.
Enzymes are today used for several applications, with one of the main ones being for the removal of glues, adhesives and coatings, called “stickies”, which are introduced during the recycling of paper. Stickies are hydrophobic, pliable organic materials that can clog the paper mill machinery. Esterases cut the stickies into smaller, more water soluble compounds, facilitating their removal.