The expression “industrial biotechnology” is used to describe the complete industrial process that uses biobased raw materials to produce chemicals, fuels, and products with help of primarily biotechnological methods. It is often called “white biotechnology” to distinguish it from those companies in biotechnology attempting to make pharmaceutical products from biobased sources, which is referred to as “red biotechnology”. White biotechnology therefore has its home within the chemical and process industry, while red biotechnology is based solely within the pharmaceutical industry.
Within industrial biotechnology both enzymatic catalysis as well as microbial catalysis are used, often in combination. Usually these re combined with other non-biological methods to achieve the complete process, from raw material to end product. For example, it is common to use separation methods that are non-biological (e.g., membrane filtration) in order to separate out fluids from the cells, proteins, and other biomass involved.