An Interdisciplinary Endeavor
Biotechnology involves the use living systems to make products or manipulate processes for directed use. The field is vast, covering a broad number of sectors, but has primarily been focused on medicine, agriculture, non-food use of agriculture (such as bioplastic production), and environmental.
At the center of all biotechnology is the notion that nature has an inherent advantage in mediating chemical conversions that far exceeds the abilities and understanding by even the most accomplished researchers.
Even where these natural mechanisms are understood, it most cases it is still not possible to reproduce these conversions in the laboratory at any scale, let alone one that supports commercial economics. As a result, the aim of biotechnology in most cases is to harness the power of nature.
Experience has shown that reliance on nature alone will not produce a commercial success. As projects such as the commercialization of the biodegradable plastic polylactic acid (PLA) have taught, the central biotechnological element must be surrounded by a framework of engineered processes: Biology can do the heavy lifting, but it cannot do it all.
As a result biotechnology is necessarily interdisciplinary, requiring the collaboration of a number of fields, including molecular biology, microbiology, biochemistry, biology, and the engineering disciplines, to name a few. Without an interdisciplinary approach successes are almost impossible.
Coanda is well positioned to address many of the challenges in the application of biotechnology. Harnessing the power of biological processes requires an exchange of nutrients, electron donors and acceptors, and other chemical building blocks, at the molecular level. The rates of these exchanges dictate the rates of conversion, and ultimately the commercial viability of the of the process under development. Engineering design can influence the rates of these processes, directly impacting the potential for commercial success.
Coanda has a fundamental understanding and expertise in the areas of mass transfer, heat transfer, and mixing processes, from both theoretical and applied levels. Coupled with our expertise in mathematical modelling, and process scaling, we are primed to support the biotechnology industry.