The Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG) helps members develop and bring to market their innovative biobased and renewable chemical products through insightful policy and regulatory advocacy. BRAG is managed by B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C., an affiliate of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 9, 2018, Tremco Roofing and Building Maintenance announced that its POWERply® Endure™ BIO Adhesive had earned the Certified Biobased Product label from the USDA BioPreferred Program. Tremco’s adhesive is made of 71 percent biobased material with ultra-low levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) that meet California VOC limits. Four other Tremco Roofing products have the USDA Certified Biobased Product Label, including AlphaGuard™ BIO Base Coat, AlphaGuard BIO Top Coat, Rock-It® WB, and Low Rise Foam Insulation Adhesive Green. The USDA BioPreferred Program was created by the 2002 Farm Bill and expanded by the 2014 Farm Bill, and provides third-party verification of a product’s biobased content. This program was created to increase the development, purchase, and use of biobased products.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On May 3, 2018, Jacor, LLC announced that five of its EcoBioClean® products earned the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Biobased Product label:

  • EcoBioClean® 100 COSW with 95% biobased content;
  • EcoBioClean® Pipes/Tanks 103 CE with 95% biobased content;
  • EcoBioClean® Fresh Water 101 COFW with 95% biobased content;
  • EcoBioClean® Land 102 COL with 95% biobased content; and
  • EcoBioClean® Biological Waste 105 BW with 95% biobased content.

These products provide contamination cleanup solutions for crude oil spills and leaks, as well as lubricants, dispersants, cleaning solutions, tar, human waste, and more, in a variety of environments and temperatures. The USDA BioPreferred Program was created by the 2002 Farm Bill and expanded by the 2014 Farm Bill, and provides third-party verification of a product’s biobased content. This program was created to increase the development, purchase, and use of biobased products.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On March 20, 2018, BioLogiQ, Inc. announced that its NuPlastiQ® GP biopolymer received certification under the USDA BioPreferred program.  NuPlastiQ is a 100 percent renewably-resourced, plant-based resin that is blended with traditional plastics to reduce fossil-based plastic use and greenhouse gas emissions.  The thermoplastic resin is produced using BioLogiQ’s proprietary process for converting high crystalline starch into a low crystalline (mostly amorphous) plastic.  The starch is derived from potato waste following processing to produce potato chips and French fries. 
 
The BioPreferred program is a USDA initiative to increase the purchase and use of biobased products through mandatory purchasing requirements for federal agencies and contractors, and voluntary product certification and labeling.  The USDA Certified Biobased Product label is designed to help consumers identify biobased products containing a verified amount of renewable biological ingredients.


 

On November 29, 2016, Green Biologics, Inc. (Green Biologics) announced that its high purity biobased n-butanol and acetone received certification under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) BioPreferred® program.  Both products, which are produced through the fermentation of sugars from renewable feedstocks, were certified as 100 percent biobased.  In the early stages of its first commercial production facility, Green Biologics aims to produce commercial n-butanol and acetone by late 2016.  Additionally, Green Biologics states that the production of its renewable n-butanol results in 85 percent lower carbon emissions than alternative petroleum-based sources.
 
The BioPreferred program is a USDA initiative to increase the purchase and use of biobased products through mandatory purchasing requirements for federal agencies and contractors, and voluntary product certification and labeling.  The USDA Certified Biobased Product label is designed to help consumers identify biobased products containing a verified amount of renewable biological ingredients.


 

 

Last week, USDA issued a fact sheet containing an Overview of USDA's BioPreferred Program (BioPreferred). BioPreferred was created in 2002 with the passing of the 2002 Farm Bill, and was recently expanded as part of the 2014 Farm Bill. This has resulted in the growth of BioPreferred to include more than 2,500 products in 100 different categories. BioPreferred has two main initiatives to support the biobased product marketplace. The first initiative is to provide a voluntary product certification and label to provide consumers with useful information about a product, and the second is mandatory purchasing requirements for federal agencies and contractors. Most recently, USDA has announced that Tide PurClean laundry detergent is a "certified biobased" product through BioPreferred that will become available to consumers within the next year.


 

On Monday, October 26, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) presented “Bioproducts in the Federal Bioeconomy Portfolio Webinar,” a webinar on how the federal government is promoting sustainability through three different avenues: bioproducts research; commercialization; and market development.  The presenters on these topics were DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Technology Manager Nichole Fitzgerald; U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred Deputy Program Manager Kate Lewis; and the Ohio State University Bioproducts Innovation Center’s Director Dennis Hall.  The webinar summary stated that “the creation of a robust, next-generation domestic bioenergy industry is one of the most important pathways for providing Americans with sustainable, renewable energy alternatives,” and “through research, development, and commercialization to produce renewable fuels and products sustainable and affordable, we can provide home-grown alternatives for the transportation, energy, and bioproducts sectors.”

We summarize below some webinar highlights:

  • There are substantial emissions reductions that bioproducts can provide compared to their fossil-derived counterparts (varying from 45 percent up to 86 percent).
  • Renewable chemicals have many positive bioeconomy contributions and few negative aspects.  Renewable chemicals help the bioeconomy in the following important ways:
    • Bolsters the economy (e.g., knowledge from bioproduct production can be transferred to biofuels production);
    • Market entry (e.g., corporations will support the bioeconomy through the purchase and use of sustainable products); and
    • Renewable chemicals are critical for economic success of advanced biofuel production (e.g., reduces risk by allowing biorefineries to pursue a higher value product).
  • National unaided awareness of biobased products has increased -- from 30 percent in 2013 up to 48 percent in 2014.
  • The U.S. biobased products industry had significant contributions to the economy in 2013, including:
    • Adding four million American jobs, as well as adding 1.64 more jobs per every biobased products job; and
    • Adding $369 billion to the economy.

More information on biobased issues is available on Bergeson and Campbell, P.C.’s (B&C®) website under subject “Biobased Products, Biotechnology.”


 

On October 8, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy announced the upcoming Bioproducts in the Federal Bioeconomy Portfolio Webinar. Bioenergy Technologies Office Technology Manager Nichole Fitzgerald, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred Deputy Program Manager Kate Lewis, and the Ohio State University Bioproducts Innovation Center's Director Dennis Hall will discuss how the federal government supports bioproducts research, commercialization, and market development as part of the expansion of the U.S. bioeconomy. The webinar is scheduled for October 26, 2015, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (EDT), and registration is available online.


 

On September 25, 2015, EPA published Recommendations for Specifications, Environmental Performance Standards, and Ecolabels for Federal Procurement. The notice describes EPA's recommendations for federal agencies that are purchasing environmentally-friendly products. Section 3(i) of Executive Order 13693, Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade, directs federal agencies to adhere to certain environmental performance and sustainability standards when practicable. The new EPA recommendations list acceptable environmentally sustainable product brands and service providers that require a procurement preference, including EPA's voluntary program Energy Star®, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Certified Biobased label BioPreferred®, and EPA designated recycled content products, among others.


 

On June 17, 2015, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the release of a report to congress that builds on the Why Biobased? report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2014. The new report, An Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry, shows that in 2013, the U.S. biobased industry added $369 billion dollars and four million jobs to the economy. The biobased products industry is comprised of many significant contributors to the U.S. economy including biorefining, biobased chemicals, bioplastics, enzymes, agriculture, forestry, and more. Due to the many sectors impacted by the biobased economy, every single job directly supporting the biobased product industry generates an additional 1.64 indirect jobs in the rest of the economy. In 2013, there were 1.5 million jobs created that directly supported the biobased industry, but those 1.5 million jobs also created 1.1 million indirect jobs in related industries and 1.4 million jobs due to increased economic activity, resulting in a net gain of four million jobs.

Secretary Vilsack also announced the addition of more forest products to the BioPreferred® program. Previously, mature market products (products with significant market share before 1972) were excluded from the program, forcing wood products and other mature market products to become more innovative. Now, any forest products that contain enough biobased content will qualify as a biobased product regardless of the market status for that product. Changes are also occurring for the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program, formerly the Biorefinery Assistance Program, that will assist in the development of advanced technologies. The program provides loan guarantees under the Farm Bill of up to $250 million to construct and retrofit commercial scale biobased product manufacturing facilities or biorefineries. The program is intended to promote advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals, and biobased product manufacturing. The new rule allows biorefineries to produce more renewable chemicals and biobased products instead of primarily advanced biofuels.


 
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