Petroleum biotechnology: Technology trends for the future

  • C Montiel
  • R Quintero
  • J Aburto
Keywords: Technology prospective, biotechnology, petroleum, oil industry, biorefining.


This paper comes out from the need to provide a general overview of the current biotechnology situation and its future impact on the petroleum industry. This important industrial sector already encounters challenges as the decreasing oil reserves, the fluctuating oil prices, the increasing demand of petroleum, fuels and petrochemicals and finally more strict environmental regulations. These challenges will persist and strengthen in the following years. Biotechnology has come a long way since the 1950's and today impacts different industrial sectors such as food, pharmaceutics, medicine, agriculture, textile, etc. Because of good experiences of the above industries, the petroleum industry
interests is now in biotechnology as an alternative technology to resolve the challenges and needs of this worldwide important sector. We described throughout the paper the main factors that drive or
restrain research and development (R&D) in biological processes applied to petroleum industry. Moreover, we identified several challenges and opportunities, where R&D in petroleum biotechnology
plays an important role to surmount the industrial needs during the following years.

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eISSN: 1684-5315