Petroleum is used worldwide in transportation, manufacturing, and heat generation – but at a considerable price. As you may already be aware, our world is suffering under the constantly increasing burden of pollution, making it crucial for us to turn to alternatives – and fast. This is where bio-based materials come in. Read on to discover more about these materials and how they are starting to replace harmful conventional resources.
What are Bio-Based Materials?
First, it may be worth sharing what bio-based materials actually are before delving deep into this topic. These types of materials refer to products constructed of properties deriving from living organisms. They are often also called biomaterials and are usually biodegradable. Examples of bio-based materials include but are not limited to, polylactic acid, bioplastics, casein, cellulose fibers, and corn starch. These materials are constructed from various natural sources, which cause less harm to our environment than non-renewable petroleum sources in the long run.
What’s The Big Deal About Petroleum?
You may now wonder why we need bio-based materials to replace petroleum. Well, the truth is that this source is incredibly harmful to our ecosystem. As a blend of hydrogen and carbon atoms, workers can extract petroleum in rock layers and utilize it as a fuel. Valuable resources like oil and kerosene derive from petroleum, along with a vast array of other materials.
As a non-renewable fossil fuel, petroleum’s combustion releases carbon emissions, including carbon dioxide, a huge guilty factor in modifying climate change. Thus, companies are searching for alternatives, such as bio-based materials, which don’t inflict as much harm on our surroundings. Additionally, since it is non-renewable, petroleum will eventually run out, especially as it is in demand. This fact means that having an excellent alternative to depend on is always a good idea, which is why many companies have started to opt for bio-based materials.
Bio-Based Materials: The Pros
Bio-based materials have plenty of advantages, explaining how they are starting to replace petroleum in industry. Let’s take a quick glance at the main ones below.
Renewable: bio-based materials are an infinite resource. This means that, unlike petroleum, these materials will always be there for humans to rely on.
Recyclability: bio-based materials are often easier to recycle than fossil fuel options. This is more beneficial for our planet since it stops more materials from having to be produced.
Less energy-intensive: extracting plant-based resources is easier and less harmful to the ecosystem than crude oil resources. This can decrease our overall carbon footprint.
High process efficiency: bio-based materials utilize production processes like fermentation, enzymes, and bio-catalysis.
Reduce carbon dioxide: bio-based materials can absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, reducing our carbon footprint in the long run.
Biodegradable: some bio-based materials are biodegradable, meaning they can naturally break down into reusable products.
Non-toxic: these natural resources avoid harmful pollutants and chemicals. This means they shouldn’t pollute our environment, which is good news for marine and land wildlife.
Bio-Based Materials: Things To Keep in Mind
As with anything, bio-based materials also have a few disadvantages that we must consider. For example, one of the biggest problems associated with bio-based materials is that humans typically don’t have the appropriate infrastructure to monitor them. Companies struggle to keep up with the innovative facilities and equipment required to deal with the materials. Furthermore, if bio-based materials aren’t recycled correctly, they will be treated like more harmful materials. Thus, they would be sent to dreaded landfill sites, which continue to pollute our earth.
This knowledge of bio-based materials can teach us many things, including that they have the capacity to change our ecosystem for the better. Swapping out petroleum for bio-based materials could make all the difference regarding our planet’s climate change crisis.
Furthermore, we should not underestimate the threat of petroleum on our current environment. While we still rely on this non-renewable resource, we must constantly innovate when considering harmful pollutants’ long-term effects.
Finally, companies supporting the use of bio-based materials over petroleum can benefit in the long run. By portraying themselves as prominent characters in eco-awareness, companies may be able to attract more stakeholders and support.