By: 6R Supply
Bio-based products offer renewable solutions to industrial processes that perform as well as, if not better than, traditional petroleum-based formulas. Their use has been demonstrated throughout multiple industries across a growing number of applications. Now, an analysis recently released by the USDA entitled, “An Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry”, also demonstrates that bio-based industries and products have a substantial, positive effect on the economy.
While the reduced environmental impact of bio-based products has been demonstrated, the economic impact has now been shown to be beneficial. From this report bio-based products demonstrate a significant economic impact. In 2013, bio-based industries contributed 4 million American jobs and added $369 billion to the U.S. economy. Also, for each job related to bio-based products, 1.64 more jobs were created.
As an increasing number of companies seek new ways to operate more efficiently and reduce environmental impact without sacrificing performance and efficacy, multiple industries have benefitted from bio-based products that are used in industrial processes, ranging from food production to packaging and bottling.
Areas in which industrial bio-based products excel are as lubricants, hydraulic fluids and commercial cleaners. Lubricants derived from plant sources exhibit a higher viscosity index, meaning that their viscosity varies less under a wider range of temperatures. This higher index, and plant based oils affinity for metal, improves lubrication that saves wear on equipment, reducing the need for expensive overhauls and part replacement.
Bio-based lubricants, which are made from readily biodegradable oils, reduce the risk of negative environmental impact and the potential liability of companies in the event of a spill or leakage. This is especially relevant when working in environmentally sensitive areas, such as wetlands or near rivers and streams. Where maintaining worker safety is a priority, bio-based lubricant products offer higher flash points and reduced toxicity, potentially reducing health risks for employees.
Increasingly, second generation bio-based products, are being successfully used to create renewable plasticizers and polymers, decreasing carbon emissions by sequestering atmospheric carbon in plants that then produce long chain carbon molecules. These are just some of the many ways that bio-based products are reducing the impact on the environment and providing safer and more efficient methods in an increasingly diverse range of industries.
“While the environmental benefits have been known, it is good to see verification of a positive economic impact from the introduction of bio-based products,” said Michael Logan, President of 6R Supply, a sales and distribution company of bio-based industrial products. A variety of consumer studies have demonstrated that more than 70 percent of Americans would prefer a bio-based product rather than chemical, while the bio-based industries are projected to see 20% growth over the next five years. This is all good news as we move away from petroleum based products to a more bio-based economy.
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