Using common crops such as corn, soybeans or sorghum to make renewably sourced building blocks and fuels instead of petroleum not only reduces the need for petroleum as an ingredient, it removes petroleum from the processing stage as well. In some cases, new biological processing agents are used, which require less energy and lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to their petroleum-based predecessors. In other cases, more traditional processes are used to transform the agricultural feedstocks into high-performance building blocks, still resulting in environmental benefits when compared with products based completely on petroleum.
Applications for renewably sourced products cross numerous industries and markets. They are used in a wide variety of products including carpeting, fabrics for apparel and interiors, personal care products, automotive components, liquid detergents, food packaging and antifreeze, to name just a few.