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Applications of enzymes in the technical industry

Enzymes, having the ability to work under mild conditions, are used in a series of technical applications, such as:

Cleaning products

Enzymes were first introduced into detergent washing powders in the mid-1960s. Enzymes are important constituents of modern detergent products as they break down soils and stains and thus achieve improved washing performance. They also contribute to environment friendly products with less energy and less chemical load to the environment. The major types of enzymes used are proteases (to remove proteinaceous stains), alpha-amylases (for food stain removal), lipases (for fat stain removal) and cellulases (for general cleaning and to remove cotton fuzz).

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 produced from biomass via fungal enzymatic methods.

Textile production

Several enzymes are used in the textile field, such as amylases, catalases and laccases. They are used to improve fabric finishing by removing impurities, bleaching and decolouring textiles, etc. and are a non-toxic and eco-friendly alternative for textile manufacturers.

Pulp & paper production

Enzymes are used in pulp & paper manufacturing to, for example, remove ink, treat starches for paper applications, enhance bleaching or improve the softness of tissues.

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