Why we investigated opportunities for renewable chemicals and bioproducts
Consumer demand for products from renewable resources can drive market growth of renewable chemicals, and reduce the use of fossil fuels. Renewable chemicals are chemicals derived from renewable feedstock, such as biomass (plant, animal, and marine), agricultural raw materials, and microorganisms.
Renewable chemicals are a sustainable diversification option for rangeland irrigation precincts where cold chain management, distance to markets, and market competitiveness are negatively influencing traditional horticultural production. Perennial plant species suitable for renewable chemical production also sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by replacing petrochemicals.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development published a scoping study identifying plant species with potential for growing under rangeland irrigation in Western Australia.
What is the market advantage of renewable chemicals and bioproducts?
Renewable chemicals have the following advantages. They:
- leave a smaller environmental footprint than traditional petrochemicals
- are produced from renewable feedstock
- there is a market opportunity predicted to grow, and
- can be used to produce novel products.
Consumer demand drives a growing market opportunity for products from renewable chemicals.
What did we find?
More than 100 (111) taxa were assessed in the scoping study for their uses and extractable chemicals.
Moringa oleifera was identified as one of the plant species with the highest potential because of its multiple uses, with applications in the food, health, animal feed and chemical industry. M. oleifera leaf protein may have a commercial use as a substitute for animal protein in processed food. A Meat Substitute Market report from imarc said the global meat substitute market size was valued at USD 5.1 billion (b) in 2020, and predicted to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 7.5% from 2021 to 2026.