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Within the concept of production-integrated environmental protection (FIEF), bio-technical processes have an important role, and therefore an increased uptake of this technology can be observed in industry .The question is if the implementation of this technology follows an optimal integration path, or if there exists obstacles which hinder an accelerated development. In order to identify the decisive factors for the adoption of biotechnology for pollution prevention, six case studies were performed in nine companies from the chemical industry, the food industry, the textile industry and the pulp and paper industry in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands that already apply process-integrated bio-technical processes with an environmental benefit. The decision-making and implementation processes which led to the introduction of process-integrated biocatalysts into these companies were investigated. From the analysis of the case studies, from literature and from expert interviews hindering and supporting factors were identified.

Biotechnology for pollution prevention requires extensive expertise in biotechnology, environmental management, market requirements and customers' needs. In most cases, this comprehensive know-how is not and cannot be present within one company, but can only be acquired via cooperation's and participation in appropriate networks. Especially in the food, pulp and paper and textile sector, this is hampered by structural and economic factors, such as small and medium-sized companies, low research intensity, difficult economic situation, and conservative- traditional attitudes. Environmental benefits are not sufficient incentives for the adoption of biotechnology for pollution prevention by companies.

Additional information

Authors: WOLF O, JRC Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, (ES);SORUP P, JRC Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, (ES)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 19582 EN, (2000), 79pp, Euro: free of charge
Availability: Available from the European Commission, DG XII Communication Unit, rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 200, B-1049 Bruxelles (BE) Tel: +32-2-2950001 Fax:+32-2-2958220
ISBN: ISBN: N/A Ref: EUR 1958
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