Alkaliphiles — from an industrial point of view


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Abstract: Organisms with pH optima for growth in excess of pH 9 are defined as alkaliphiles (or sometimes alkalophiles). Alkaliphiles contain prokaryotes, eukaryotes, and archaea. It is clear that many different taxa are represented among the alkaliphiles, and some of them are proposed as new taxa. Alkaliphiles can b isolated from normal environments such as garden soil, although counts of the alkaliphiles are higher in alkaline environments. Alkaliphiles have made a great impact in industrial applications. Biological detergents contain alkaline enzymes, such as alkaline cellulases and/or alkaline proteases that have been produced from alkaliphiles. The current proportion of total world enzyme production destined for the laundry detergents market exceeds 30%. Another important application is the industrial production of cyclodextrin with alkaline cyclomaltodextrin glucanotransferase. This enzyme reduced the production cost and paved the way for its use in large quantities in foodstuffs, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Besides these applications, there are other possible applications in food and waste treatment industries.