Bioeconomy Controversy: The Facts
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Current Issues in the Bioeconomy

In the U.S. and EU, government efforts to reduce fossil fuel dependence are having the unintended

consequence of diverting renewable raw materials that have other essential uses. The negative impact on the food supply when biofuels are developed from edible agricultural sources is a highly visible example.


Less well known is the adverse effect that biofuel incentives and mandates have on the pine chemicals industry. This industry refines Crude Tall Oil (CTO), a co-product of pulp and paper manufacturing, to create higher value, bio-based chemical products that are used as intermediates in hundreds of everyday products. It’s been successfully using renewable raw materials for over 80 years thereby making pine chemicals one of the first "green manufacturing industries.


The bioeconomy battleground raises critical questions:

·    When should a bio-based resource that has proven value to one or more industries be consumed as a fuel?

·    Does it make sense for a robust and vital industry to be placed at an artificial and unfair competitive disadvantage while another industry receives incentives and mandates so it can purchase the same raw materials at below market price?


"Cascading Use” Maximizes Natural Resources


Cascading use ensures that maximum value is derived from available biomass resources. From each co- product or residue another product should be made. The process should continue and only when nothing more can be extracted or created, should it be made available as fuel.

The pine chemicals industry produces a wide array of chemicals. Products from Crude Tall Oil are used to make inks, adhesives, paints, papermaking, soaps, and mining chemicals. After these "first round” chemicals are developed, the industry processes the remaining co-products into applications including dust control on roads and food additives. After a "cascade” of uses, the waste material then is burnt as biofuel to produce heat and steam at the companies own facilities.


The obvious benefits of cascading use are that the pine chemicals industry creates a biorenewable alternative to petroleum-based chemicals, reduces dependence on fossil energies, and has a favorable direct and indirect economic impact.


The pine chemicals industry asks governments for a level playing field that does not incentivize the burning of CTO as a biofuel to the detriment of an industry that already contributes to reduced carbon emissions.


About the Pine Chemicals Industry


Pine Chemicals are environmentally friendly products that use natural, renewable products as primary raw materials originating from sustainable forestry sources. The chemicals produced by this industry are used in consumer products such as flavors and fragrances, vitamin intermediates, disinfectants, inks, adhesives, paints, papermaking, synthetic rubber production, soaps and mining chemicals.


The Pine Chemicals Association (PCA) is the only association dedicated exclusively to the global pine chemicals industry. PCA represents rosin and terpene producers and consumers of crude gum tapped from pine trees and producers and consumers of papermaking co-products, including tall oil rosin, tall oil fatty acids and terpene chemicals.