The American Chemistry Council (ACC) unveiled a new Biobased Chemistry Network to help educate policymakers on how to create effective and workable regulatory programs for the growing biobased chemistry industry. Global sales of this segment of the U.S. chemicals industry range from $13.5 billion to $20 billion, with the U.S. accounting for approximately 20 percent of those sales, or $2.7 billion to $4.0 billion.
"The chemical industry is transformational," said Emily Tipaldo, director of regulatory and technical affairs. "ACC Member companies are at the forefront of converting natural resources into a wide range of innovative products that consumers value, that make modern life possible, and that help to deliver a more sustainable future. The Biobased Network allows members to work together on creating an environment that will help foster and develop this dynamic segment of our industry."
Biobased chemistry is a promising subcategory of industrial biotechnology. It includes the manufacture of chemical products using enzymes, micro-organisms, fermentation, or bio-catalysis at any stage of production, and also includes the manufacture of chemical products from renewable resources.
Many of the benefits of this maturing industry have yet to be realized. Lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, reduced volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and other air pollutants, as well as reductions in energy needs can be achieved through biobased chemistry. Other potential benefits include energy diversity and security, and the growth of domestic manufacturing and associated job creation.
Currently, the Network includes the following 19 member companies: Akzo Nobel Chemicals; BASF Corp.; Braskem America, Inc.; Chevron Oronite Company; Dow Chemical; DuPont; Eastman Chemical; ExxonMobil Chemical Company; Future Fuel Chemical; Galata Chemicals; Lanxess Corp.; MeadWestvaco; Metabolix; Myriant Corporation; OPX; Biotechnologies; Shell Chemical; Solvay NA; Virent.