Company Beerjet‘s Foucs: Alcohol Production
Company Core Members: 2021 Beijing_United iGEM Team
Leading Technology: Genetic-editing Tools
Core Product: A genetically-edited yeast functional in enhancing alcohol production and lowering costs
Competitive Edges of Company Beerjet:
Talented R&D Group
Rigorously-designed & Highly-effective Product
Effective Support from Leading Research Institutions in China
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the requirement of alcoholic products such as medical alcohol, alcohol disinfection has increased rapidly. In order to meet the business demand to alcoholic products, our company came up with an idea targeting at increasing the alcohol production efficiency, lowering production time & costs, reducing pollution and improving resource utilization of alcohol-production.
In addition, another main inspiration is to make full use of wheat b-starch. Usually, wheat starch can be divided into two categories, wheat a-starch and wheat b-starch. Wheat a-starch, which have lower content of protein, is relatively refined, and also it is the main wheat starch people and animals eat. Whilst, wheat b-starch is in a completely different circumstance.
Wheat b-starch’s Dilemma
Wheat b-starch, also known as “tail starch” or “scraped starch” is the “waste” scraped off by centrifugal dehydrator during the process of starch-producing. Now, there are two ways to deal with wheat b-starch, making fertilizer or feeding animals, and the rest were dumped into the environment as agricultural waste. However, both methods have huge costs. To be specific, the price of fertilizer made by the former will be much higher than that on the current market. When the b-starch was used as feed for livestock, the pentosan in the b-starch wasn’t capable of being digested by animals, as a result the animal taking the b-starch will suffer from stomach disorder. Also, the harmful bacteria existed in the b-starch may cause water pollution and soil pollution when the b-starch was dumped into the environment. Consequently, how to deal with the wheat b-starch has troubled wheat producers for ages.
Substitute of Corn in Alcohol Production
There is another reason why we choose wheat b-starch, traditional markets generally use corn to make alcohol. This is mainly because the price of corn is lower than that of wheat. But in recent years, the price of wheat was even lower than that of corn. Therefore, using wheat as the main feeding stock for alcohol production has become the lowest cost choice. This also helps to reduce the cost when producing alcohol.
The genetically-edited yeast produced by our company can be used to produce alcohol that has many uses in our daily lives, such as medical alcohol, ethanol gasoline, and drinking alcohol.
Our company aims at producing trans genetic yeast, which is able to help with fermenting wheat B starch to produce alcohol. The yeast after gene editing will produce three enzymes. They can accelerate the decomposition of wheat B starch into monosaccharides (glucose), and the yeast can further ferment glucose into ethanol. In the past, the three enzymes are required to be added, but now they are able to be secreted by the yeast naturally, which can lower the cost and shorten the time needed to produce alcohol. In addition, the output will be increased due to the wheat b-starch is taken into production. Therefore, as the supply increases, the market price of ferment alcohol will decrease.
As mentioned in the “Background” section, if untreated wheat b-starch is discarded directly, it will have a negative impact on the environment, and cause problems such as eutrophication of water bodies and disorders of the animal's digestive system. Nevertheless, in our project, all the former challenges were solved. Fermented wheat b-starch is decomposed by yeast, this means that it not only reduces environmental pollution, but also increases the potential economic value of wheat. Moreover, making use of the original “waste” wheat b- starch, is capable of cutting down waste of grains. In the market, the yeast modified by the BEERJET company will have a great impact on the wheat market.
In order to gain a better understanding on people’s opinions about trans genetic yeast alcohol, our first survey was performed in forms of questionnaire. We gathered more than 500 samples in 3 days. The interviewees covered all age groups, from teenagers to seniors, most of them are aged between 31 to 45 years old. As shown in picture 1, about 80% of them use alcoholic products in their daily life, such as alcoholic beverages, hand sanitizer, cosmetics and ethanol-added gasoline. Which is quite a large amount of people. Based on their response, we can conclude that a number of people are purchasing alcoholic products, which lead to a huge demand of alcoholic products. This create a large market for the trans genetic yeast we are recently working on since manufactures are more willing to use a better, cheaper and more environmental-friendly yeast during the process of alcohol-producing.
In addition, as it shows in picture 2, only 13.80% of interviewees do not agree with the use of trans genetic yeast alcohol. We can draw the conclusion that after the alcohol produced by the genetically edited yeast enter the market, it won’t be opposed by most people, which confirm my previous conclusion. This also offers us determination and courage to undertake further experiments.
As shown in picture 3, when it comes to the alcoholic products people use, medical alcohol used for cleaning possess the largest utility (78.51%), while others are relatively average, which indicates the importance of alcoholic products in people’s daily life.
Furthermore, as picture 4 shows, most people have already be aware of difference the genetically edited yeast will make on the alcohol manufacturing industry. The result gave us a positive response, because at least 48.97% of interviewees are aware of the positive influence the trans genetic yeast have. As a result, we believe the genetically edited yeast will be supported.
After listening to the lecture delivered by a biological expert professor Wang, we gained a more comprehensive understanding of the feature of yeast and the tremendous influence yeast made in alcohol producing. Modern methods of making alcohol, especially in the producing medical alcohol and edible alcohol, use yeast fermentation to produce alcohol with high purity and less impurities. Therefore, until today, the fermentation of alcohol is still inseparable from the participation of yeast. We can concluded from this lecture that yeast plays an important role in alcohol production, which demonstrate our project is necessary.
According to reliable statistic data, in 2019, the output of fermented alcohol in China was 6.92 kiloliters, facing a year-on-year decrease of 2.5%. In 2020, the output of fermented alcohol in China was 9.24 million kiloliters, with a year-on-year increase of 33.6%. In recent years, the export volume of fermented alcohol in China is relatively stable, and it increased in 2020 due to the COVID-19 epidemic. In 2020, the export volume of fermented alcohol in China was 624.484 million liters, and the import volume was 182.146 million liters.
From 2018 to 2019, the output of fermented alcohol in China have a year-on-year increase of 2.5%. from 2019 to 2020, the output of fermented alcohol in China have a year-on-year increase of 33.6%.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic started in early 2020, the demand of alcohol increased rapidly, people started purchase alcoholic disinfection products at a greater amount in order to prevent themselves from being infected. Consequently, if there is a raise in demand but supply does not increase accordingly, the price of alcohol will go up. This will take a toll on consumers’ rights since fewer people are willing to buy it. However, the problem is solved by our team, our company developed a genetically-edited yeast which can produce more alcohol using the same amount of raw material. In this way, the output of alcohol will increase greatly which fulfills the surge needs of alcohol that was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, as it was mentioned in the “background” and “product introduction” section, our product provides a new method of dealing with wheat b-starch which was previously being reckoned as agricultural waste. In comparison to yeast produced by other companies, the yeast produced by BEERJET offer manufacturers a lower cost. Therefore, they will make more profit. To sum up, the benefits of our company’s product can be viewed on 2 aspects. It prevents consumers from purchasing alcohol at an improper price and it contributes to alcohol manufacturers since they will be able to increase output.
Even though we have not made a specific price list, we have made up our mind to follow the benchmark pricing strategy. The alcohol production industry has been quite mature in China, thereafter, the pricing issue is quite transparent. Following the market benchmark price will be feasible for us.
Our company hopes to first target Asian alcohol manufactures during the initial phases and gradually expanding to an international consumer base after company growth. An online market will increase accessibility to cheaper yeast as well as alcohol. It will also aid global expansion by enabling greater brand recognition.
Firstly, we plan to hold exhibitions and invite alcohol manufacturers to participate. Researchers from our company will use the yeast we produce to ferment some alcohol before the exhibition started. During this process, researchers will carefully observe all the procedures and record experiment data. During the exhibition, we will use the data we took down in the experiments to deliver a presentation which comprehensively introduce our product and demonstrate the advantage of the product our company produce. Also, we will distribute yeast samples for free. They can take those samples back and ferment alcohol with it. Once they discover the benefit of the yeast, they will naturally become customers. Furthermore, we plan to launch an official website or social media platform in order to acquire more exposure. On our website and social media platform, yeast users are welcomed to inquire and evaluate. We will answer questions and respond to users publicly.
To sum up, we can safely draw the conclusion that the genetically- edited alcohol produced by our company will have a bright future since manufacturers are more willing to purchase a cheaper, better and more environmentally-friendly yeast when producing alcohol. Our project will make a great influence in alcohol producing industry.
链 接 : https://wku.baidu.com/view/eb5e9f0b9b8fcc22bcd126fff705cc1754275f0c.html