Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 28, 2009
Publication Date: November 29, 2009
Citation: Hou, C.T. 2009. Oil biotechnology: Value-added products and bioactive fatty acids. Proceedings of the Oil Technologists' Association of India. S-16. p. 62-65. Technical Abstract: During my 40+ years research career, I have been working on "biocatalysis" of hydrophobic organic compounds, both petroleum oil and vegetable oil, to convert them to value-added products. "Biocatalysis" is defined as the use of a biocatalyst such as whole microbial cells or enzymes, in an aqueous or non-aqueous system, in free or immobilized form, for the production of useful chemicals. It includes enzyme technology, fermentation, gene manipulation and products recovery processes. I worked for the USDA, Exxon Research Center, Squibb Pharmaceutical Company, and then in 1989, returned to the USDA at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, in Peoria, IL. We demonstrated that many value- added products: specialty chemicals, functional foods and bioactive fatty acids can be produced by bioprocesses. Research into the production of many of these products did not meet with commercial success. With more advanced biotechnology, such as molecular engineering, we hope to be able to economically produce these specialty chemicals in the near future.