WORLDWIDE R. David Whitby Developments with bio-lubricants How the USDA’s BioPreferred program is promoting the use and manufacturing of bio-based products. IN THIS COLUMN we’ve discussed bio-lubri-cants and reported about their develop-ments and ﬂuids in Europe. Today we look at several exciting new developments with these oils. For example, in North America, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s BioPreferred ® program, deﬁned in the U.S. Farm Bill of 2002, was initiated to promote the increased pur-chase and use of biobased products, aiming to spur economic development by providing new markets for farm commodities. According to the USDA, the use of bio-based products will (1.) reduce U.S. reliance on petroleum, (2.) increase the use of renew-able agriculture resources and (3.) potential-ly contribute to reducing adverse environ-mental and health impacts. The USDA BioPreferred ® program has two major initiatives: • Product Labelling. The USDA certi-ﬁes and awards labels to qualifying products to increase consumer rec-ognition of biobased products. Federal Procurement Preference. The USDA designates categories of biobased products that are afforded preference by federal agencies when making purchasing decisions. bricants, slideway lubricants and water tur-bine bearing oils. The European Union (EU) is now considering whether to adopt a similar program. Emeryville, Calif.-based, Novvi is develop-ing base oils designed to improve upon key environmental metrics, including biodegrad-ability, toxicity and renewability when com-pared with petroleum-sourced base oils, while delivering performance characteristics comparable to Group III and Group IV base oils. Amyris Brazil, a Novvi subsidiary based in Campinas, uses its industrial synthetic bi-ology platform to convert plant sugars into a variety of hydrocarbon molecules. Amyris is commercializing these products as No Com-promise ® renewable ingredients in cosmet-ics, ﬂavors and fragrances, polymers, lubri-cants and consumer products. Matrica, a joint venture between Polimeri Europa (Eni) and Novamont, which was estab-lished in June 2011, aims to design, build and manage chemical plants that use vegetable oil feedstocks for the production of bio-plas-tics, bio-lubricants and bio-additives for elas-tomers. With a total investment of À 500 mil-lion, the project consists of seven new plants, an integrated production chain from vegeta-ble oil to bio-plastics and bio-lubricants, to be completed by 2017, and a research center devoted to bio-chemistry that started work later in 2011. In September 2013, Woodridge, Ill.-based, Elevance Renewable Sciences announced the commercial availability of Inherent™ C 18 Di-acid, a mid-chain length, biobased diacid that the company claims will enable producers of polyamides and polyurethanes, lubricants and adhesives to signiﬁcantly expand their portfolios with cost-competitive products that demonstrate performance not possible from products made with more common, shorter-chain diacids. Elevance’s process to produce C 18 Diacid (octadecanedioic acid, ODDA) uses materials produced from its world-scale (180,000 tonnes per year capacity) bioreﬁnery in Gresik, Indonesia. According to Elevance, its proprietary metathesis process allows it to make ODDA with the purity required for de-manding applications at a cost that is com-petitive with other specialty diacids in the marketplace. In October 2013, Elevance announced the construction of its second world-scale biore-ﬁnery in Natchez, Mich. The decision to build a second plant was based on the successful startup of the plant in Indonesia in addition to “robust customer activity and demand forecasts for the company’s speciality and intermediate chemicals.” The second biore-ﬁnery is scheduled for completion in 2016. In addition, Elevance announced that with commercial production underway at Gresik, customer activity continues to in-crease in each of the company’s market plat-forms. The Gresik plant currently uses palm oil as its primary feedstock, while the Nat-chez plant plans to use canola or soybean oil. Both plants are capable of operating on mul-tiple renewable oil feedstocks, including jat-ropha or algal oils, when they become com-mercially available. • The USDA designates categories of bio-based products for a Federal Procurement Preference. In the process, minimum bio-based content standards are established for each product category. There are 97 BioPre-ferred ® designated product categories re-quired for preferred federal purchasing. These include greases, metalworking ﬂuids, chain lubricants, gear lubricants, forming lu-80 David Whitby is chief executive of Pathmaster Marketing Ltd. in Surrey, England. You can contact him at pathmaster. firstname.lastname@example.org. It was calculated that enough snow fell on Britain on Feb. 2, 2009, for everyone in the country to make 251,800 snowballs.