News By Tag
News By Location
Follow on Google News
Bio-Based Economy: The New Industrial Revolution
In recent years, the U.S. and other countries have taken significant steps to move away from fossil-fuel based economic systems to sustainable economies based on biomass.
By: Growth Equities
Manufacturers use intermediate products to make complex goods for the industrial and consumer markets. Bio-products span a diverse range of items, from paints, plastics and building insulation to shampoo, lip care and laundry detergents.
Certification of Bio-Based Products
Continuous gains in scientific and technological research make the bio-based products one of the fastest growing segments in the economy. The potential for the development of bio-based products offers tremendous growth opportunities across nearly every industrial sector.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has divided bio-products into nine categories. Each product or package under a given category has to meet a minimum bio-based content standard to receive the USDA’s Certified Bio-based Product. The standard represents a minimum percentage of biomass content, such as 11% for lip balm or 72% for disposable dinner plates.
If the category does not have a minimum bio-based content requirement, the product or package must contain a minimum of 25% bio-based content when applying for labeling.
As of March 2012, the USDA has approved more than 670 products from over 200 companies and has about 1,100 applications awaiting bio-based product certification.
Federal Support for Bio-Product Industries
In August 2011, the White House Rural Council began introducing a wide range of initiatives intended to expand the market for bio-based products and support businesses. To help rejuvenate rural communities in the U.S. President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum, which promotes the creation of jobs through the purchase of bio-products through federal procurements.
The Federal government spends about $400 billion on goods and services annually. So far, Uncle Sam has committed $350 million in Small Business Administration financing for bio-based business start-ups in rural areas.
Companies Tie Futures to Bio-Products
Many large corporations have invested in certain bio-based segments to enhance their product lines and reduce carbon footprints. For example, Coke (KO) and Pepsi (PEP) have in their pipeline bio-based products made of 100 percent sugarcane and other crop materials.
Goodyear (GT) and DuPont (DD) have collaborated on the development of a bio-based alternative for petroleum-derived isoprene called BioIsoprene™
Bio-based plastic Cereplast, Inc. (CERP) specializes in bio-plastic technology. The company uses from starch-based sustainable plastics, derived from corn, wheat, potatoes and tapioca, to design and manufacturer bio-based products. Northern Technologies International Corporation (NTIC) also develops bio-based substitutes for traditional plastics.
Privately held Cargill introduced bio-based polyols, a soybean derivative, into the foam market in 2005. Cargill recently opened a $22 million “world-scale”
Málama Composites out of San Diego, California also manufactures a line of bio-based polyols foams called Studio BioFoam™ and AinaCore®. The company advertizes its Studio BioFoam™ as the first such product designed for “artists, sculptors and the industrial design community.”
Manufacturers can utilize conventional fabrication procedures when working with Málama Composites foam products. The non-toxic bio-based foams have a wide variety of applications across diverse industries, including building materials, transportation, industrial and consumer products. Some bio-based products manufactured from foam include surfboards, toys, furniture, building insulation and automobile components.
GIS Research predicts strong growth in global demand for foam insulation used to build more energy-efficient buildings, especially the EU and Asia-Pacific region.Málama Composites’ bio-based foam products have helped positioned this three-year old company to expand and thrive along with a bio-based economy still in the embryonic stage of development.
8605 Santa Monica Blvd #87596
Los Angeles, CA 90069-4109
415 937 8489