Advancements in processing and manufacturing technologies have opened the floodgates for biobased products on store shelves; there are thousands of USDA certified BioPreferred products available at retailers near you. Despite the wide variety in products and manufacturing, all bioproducts require some kind of feedstock. Feedstocks are the organic matter that biobased products are made out of.
The first official social media platform was launched in 1997. Back then, if a person told you that they were going to work in the social media industry, you would probably look at them like they were crazy. Flash-forward 20 years, social media has infiltrated every part of our lives and has proven to be a lucrative industry. It’s hard to say what trends will influence industry careers 20 years from now, but there is no doubt that the bioeconomy will have a significant role to play.
A recent survey found that 44% of the respondents identify themselves as environmentally concerned shoppers (frequently or always buy environmentally friendly products). Even if environmental concerns don’t influence your purchasing decisions, we can probably all agree that there is value in working towards a sustainable world.
Imagine driving across western Texas, you’re on a highway surrounded by cattle pastures and oil pumps; you begin to approach a small town. As the commercial district develops in front of you, you realize that the ratio of tanker trucks to passenger cars is growing: it is clear that this is a petroleum refinery town. A dull smog hangs low in the air just overtop a commercial chemical distributor, a faded yellow sign reads, “Hydrochloric Acid for Sale”.
Stone Age Humans began processing plants for medicine around 3300 BC. Ancient Egyptians created some of the earliest paper with materials harvested from the papyrus plant. George Washington planted hemp to be manufactured into ship sails and rope. These are examples that show that humans have been producing and trading bioproducts for thousands of years. However, it wasn’t until recent decades that we realized the value of utilizing plant material for modern industry.