Princen, L. H. North Regional Research Center, Department of Agriculture, Peoria, Illinois.
Last reviewed:December 2018
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- Fats and oils
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Natural materials, which can replenish themselves in a limited time (months to years), used as feedstocks for industrial processes. Agricultural products were the first sources of feedstocks for manufacturing soap, paint, ink, lubricants, grease, paper, cloth, drugs, and a host of other nonfood products. Advances in organic synthesis led to the use of oil and natural gas as primary sources of carbon-based raw materials because of developments in catalysis and polymer science. For sustainable development, natural feedstocks, such as those derived from biomass, are being considered as alternatives to petrochemicals for manufacturing processes (see illustration). However, animal fats, vegetable oils, starch, cellulose, and other renewable agricultural resources continue to be used extensively in industry. See also: Agriculture; Biomass; Catalysis and catalysts; Chemicals from renewable feedstocks; Polymer; Polymers from renewable resources
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