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USDA BioPreferred Label

USDA Designates New BioPreferred Categories

USDA BioPreferred LabelThe US Department of Agriculture has designated eight new biobased product categories for preferred federal procurement. These include: aircraft and boat cleaners; automotive care products, engine crankcase oil; gasoline fuel additives; metal cleaners and corrosion removers; microbial cleaning products; paint removers; and water turbine bearing oils.

The new categories will advance the Obama administration’s goals to increase rural job creation through procurement of biobased products and increase the number of biobased product categories and individual products eligible for preferred purchasing, USDA says.

There are now 97 designated categories representing about 10,000 different types of products.

USDA launched the voluntary labeling program for biobased industrial and commercial products in 2011, but stopped processing applications in January due to a lack of funding.

It reopened its BioPreferred certification program to applications earlier this month. Companies can apply for the voluntary label via a web portal. The website also includes a map that shows the locations of more than 3,000 companies in the US that either manufacture or distribute biobased products.

Later this year the BioPreferred program is expected to finalize a rule that will extend to designating intermediate ingredients so products made from them could be part of the preferred federal procurement process. That regulation would also allow for the designation of complex assemblies that contain one or more components from biobased ingredients.

President Barack Obama’s climate plan, announced late last month, also promotes bioproducts and says the administration will work with the private and public sector to deploy biofuels.

University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers have discovered a new chemical process to make p-xylene, an important ingredient of common plastics, at 90 percent yield from lignocellulosic biomass, the highest yield achieved to date, according to research published in last month’s issue of Green Chemistry.

A May report from EL PRO provides research on green plastics, including both biodegradable and bio-based materials.


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