Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/26/2007
Publication Date: 3/16/2007
Citation: Callaway, T.R. 2007. Concise encyclopedia of bioresource technology: A review. Journal of Environmental Quality. 36:609-610. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The Journal of Environmental Quality requested a review of the book “The Concise Encyclopedia of Biotechnology” from the perspective of a scientist. Biotechnology is an emerging field and has rapidly become a buzzword in popular culture and politics today, yet it is not possible to be an expert in all details of this field. With the development of genetic manipulation of the human genome and foods, and the need to avoid a Malthusian future by producing more food from less land and nutrient input, coupled with the need to find alternative energy sources from waste products; the world’s needs that will be addressed through biotechnology will only grow over time. The Concise Encyclopedia provides specific information on a wide variety of topics in a general short review format. It addresses a very diverse, broad field and provides a jumping-off point for researchers interested in following up in more detail. While there is not a common thread running through this book since it is a compilation of many short reviews, it remains a cohesive whole as a general reference to cover this field, allowing readers to understand specific topics and examine related processes. This Encyclopedia provides a basic overview of many of the industrial processes as they are used in the real world. For example, many of us know that wastewater is treated biologically, however only a limited number would be able to draw a flow chart of the process or a diagram of a treatment reactor and be able to derive the pertinent equations for efficiency. A general reference for all these current processes is of use to researchers, academics, industrial scientists, regulatory officials and investors interested in enhancing the future through biotechnology.