Different Types Of Bioproducts

Different Types Of Bioproducts

Bioproducts are materials, chemicals and energy derived from renewable biological resources. Biological resources include agriculture, forestry and biologically-derived waste among others. There are different types of bioproducts including:


Bioenergy is produced in liquid, solid or gaseous forms when organic matter is treated using different physical, biochemical, thermochemical and other types of processes. Ethanol and biodiesel are the two most common bioproducts often blended with petroleum-based gasoline or diesel for transport or heating fuel. Corn and wheat grains are the two common sources for ethanol production, though new technology is now producing ethanol directly from cellulose or syngas (a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen) though this costs more than grain produced ethanol.


Biodiesel is commonly produced from vegetable oils, fats and greases in a process called transesterfication. Soybean and canola are examples of oilseed crops that can be used in biodiesel production as well as recycled vegetable oils from restaurants and fats from animal rendering. The industrial production of oil-carrying microalgae for the production of biodiesel is also underway.


Biogas is generated from anaerobic digestion, a process in which organic materials such as manure, agricultural crop residues, dedicated energy crops and food processing residues are digested by bacteria, in the absence of oxygen to create methane for power and heat.


Biomass crops such as switchgrass, agricultural crop residues (eg. sunflowers), forestry and a wide range of organic materials can be combusted directly or compressed into bioproducts such as briquettes and pellets for direct combustion to produce heat and power.

The most recent bioenergy technology includes pyrolysis, gasification, solar-to-fuel and genetic manipulation of organisms to secrete hydrocarbons.


Biofibres are renewable, biodegradable fibres produced from wood, agricultural crop residues and purpose-grown crops such as hemp and flax. These biofibre types are used in furniture production, paper and textiles either on their own or blended with petroleum-based polymers and resins to produce stronger, more durable biocomposite materials in the automotive, aerospace and other manufacturing sectors.


Bioplastics are polymers produced from starch crops (e.g., corn, potatoes, wheat) and vegetable oils (e.g., canola or soybeans), rather than from petroleum. Bioplastics are biodegradable and are being adopted for a number of applications in the packaging and pharmaceutical industries.


Vegetable oils from corn, soybean and canola are types of organic matter used for the manufacture of chemicals such as solvents, lubricants and adhesives. They can also produce organic chemicals such as acetic acid, succinic acid, glycerol and methanol that can be used in the manufacture of high-value, bioproducts.


Biopharmaceuticals are plant-derived compounds, such as vaccines, antibiotics and drugs, that have medicinal value. Producing insulin from safflower for the treatment of diabetes could substantially reduce the cost of insulin.


Vegetable oils, starches and proteins are used as primary raw materials for the manufacture of a range of different types of cosmetics including deodorants, shampoos, make-up, sunscreens, beauty and personal hygiene products. There is an increasing market demand for bioproducts, particularly to replace those currently made from petroleum-based sources.

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