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ASTM International

Founded in 1898 as the American Society for Testing and Materials by a group of scientists and engineers, ASTM is an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services. ASTM develops standards using a consensus process within technical committees.


The state of an ingredient or product being entirely or in part comprised of renewable agricultural materials; also can refer to materials made using biological processes regardless of the feedstock source.

Bio-based materials

Materials that are derived in whole or in part from a renewable resource such as corn via biological processes that contain recently fixed (new; within our lifetime) carbon; also can refer to materials made using biological processes regardless of the source of the raw materials.

Bio-based products

Products (other than food or feed) that are composed in whole or in part of renewable agricultural crops such as corn, wheat, or sugar cane; also refers to materials made using biological processes regardless of the feedstock source.


Butanol (C4H9OH) that is produced from agricultural feedstock rather than petroleum. Butanol has properties that make it an excellent high performance fuel.


The capacity of a compound to be decomposed or broken down by living organisms like bacteria or fungi into simpler, more stable organic compounds through natural biological processes.


Transportation or other fuels that are made in whole or in part from renewably sourced plant materials such as corn, wheat or sugar cane.


A set of biological techniques developed through basic research and used in industrial, agricultural and pharmaceutical applications. DuPont defines biotechnology as a technique that uses living organisms, or parts of the organisms to develop other microorganisms for specific uses; improve plants; create high-performance ingredients and fuels.

Carbon dating

A radiometric dating method that uses the naturally occurring isotope carbon-14 to determine the age of carbonaceous materials up to about 50,000 years; also referred to as radiocarbon dating.

Cellulosic ethanol

A renewable, advanced biofuel produced by converting the starch extracted from cellulose - the cell walls of plants – into sugars and fermenting the sugars into ethanol. Agricultural byproducts such as corn stover and cereal straws are the most commonly used renewable feedstocks today.

Cellulosic feedstocks

Any fibrous plant material such as the stalks, husks, cobs, and leaves of a corn plant that can be used in a cellulosic process.

Chemical building blocks

The base ingredients derived from renewable resources or petroleum that are mixed and/or reacted with other chemicals to create the basic materials and fuels used everyday.

Corn Stover

The leaves and stalks of corn plants left in the field after being harvested. Corn stover typically makes up about half of the weight of a crop.


A phrase that refers to a product’s environmental footprint from raw material acquisition (the cradle) through final manufacturing (the factory gate). DuPont provides certain cradle-to-gate data for its products because they can be reliably calculated and reported as a material parameter; see Life Cycle Analysis.

Drop-In Replacement

The ability to substitute a renewably sourced ingredient or product into existing systems, equipment and products, with little or no retrofitting.


A polymer that can be stretched repeatedly to at least twice its original length and, immediately upon release of the stress, return with force to their approximate original length.

Environmentally friendly

A commonly used phrase that can refer to materials or products that are considered to inflict minimal harm on the environment.

Environmental footprint

The various impacts that a product, process or corporation places on the environment throughout its life cycle.

Environmental impact

See environmental footprint.


A vital component of any living organism, Enzymes are proteins that catalyze a biochemical reaction, usually speeding it up.

Ethanol (C2H5OH)

The most widely used biofuel today; ethanol is an alcohol that can be produced by converting starch from crops into sugars and fermenting the sugars with microbes.


A specific type of bio-processing that utilizes microorganisms to convert sugars into useful new compounds such as propanediol.

Genetically modified

A plant or microorganism that has undergone a process in which an isolated and well-characterized gene is delivered, integrated and expressed in a host cell; sometimes referred to as “genetically engineered.”


The genetic resources of a plant, especially its specific molecular and chemical constitution (DNA) that comprises the physical basis of the inherited qualities.


A monosaccharide or simple sugar that is the chief source of energy for living organisms.

Greenhouse gases (GHGs)

Components of the atmosphere that contribute to the Greenhouse effect; also known as “global warming”. Some GHGs occur naturally in the atmosphere, while others result from human activities. The principal GHGs that enter the atmosphere because of human activities are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases. GHG emissions are typically reported in a Life Cycle Analysis as kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilogram of product manufactured.

Hybrid seeds

Seeds produced from artificially cross-pollinating plants. Hybrids are bred to improve the characteristics of the resulting plants such as better yield, greater uniformity, and disease resistance.

Industrial Biotechnology

The application of biotechnology to create new and alternative ingredients and products using microorganisms. Key areas include chemicals, textiles, and the energy industry.

Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)

A systematic technique for identifying and evaluating the potential environmental benefits and impacts (use of resources; human health; ecological consequences) associated with products or processes. LCA is a standardized method and is documented in the ISO standards 14040 series.


An organic substance that acts as a binder for cellulose fibers in plants and adds strength and rigidity to cell walls.

Metabolic Engineering

The targeted and purposeful alteration (using genetic engineering techniques) of an organism's metabolic pathways in order to better understand how the pathways work or to redesign them to produce a different set of products.

Microbial process

Any process that utilizes microorganisms to control transformations of organic compounds.


A single-celled life form of microscopic size, i.e. bacterium; also known as a microbe.

Molecular breeding

A technique that uses marker-assisted selection to identify and evaluate desired traits of plants at the molecular level and to subsequently improve those traits for a specific purpose.


A small molecule that can be chemically bonded to other monomers to form a polymer.

Non-renewable Energy

Energy derived from sources that cannot be replenished in a short period of time relative to a human life span. Non-renewable sources of energy are typically divided into two types: fossil fuels and nuclear fuels. Fossil fuels include oil, natural gas, and coal.

Polymer Science

Polymer science is the subfield of materials science concerned with polymers such as plastics. The field includes multiple disciplines including chemistry, physics, and engineering.


Polymers are complex, chain-like molecules produced by uniting simpler molecules called monomers through chemical bonding.


A process of chemically reacting monomers together to form a polymer.


A polymer with more than one hydroxyl group available for organic reactions.

Product Life Cycle

The total impact a product has on the environment from extraction of raw materials to production, transportation, use, recycling and final disposal. Usually a product’s life cycle includes energy and water consumption, liquid discharges, gaseous emissions, solid wastes, etc.

Propanediol (C3H6(OH)2)

A clear, odorless, and colorless liquid that can be formulated into a variety of products including composites, adhesives, laminates, coatings, copolyesters, solvents, antifreeze and more; also known as propylene glycol.

Propylene glycol (C3H6(OH)2)

A clear, odorless, and colorless liquid that can be formulated into a variety of products including composites, adhesives, laminates, coatings, copolyesters, solvents, antifreeze and more; also known as propanediol.

Renewable resource

A resource that can be renewed or regenerated by natural ecological cycles or sound management practices within a short time relative to a human life span.

Renewably Sourced

Being derived in whole or in part from renewable resources such as corn, wheat, or sugar cane.


The study of the flow of materials that behave in an interesting or unusual manner under the influence of an applied stress.


A new class of high-efficacy, low-toxicity insecticides from DuPont that maximize yield potential, improve crop safety, and expand weed control options.


A breakthrough in polymer science, the key ingredient in DuPont™ Sorona® is DuPont Tate & Lyle Susterra™ renewably sourced™ propanediol, which replaces petroleum-based 1,3-propanediol. Sorona® is an advanced material that offers a unique combination of attributes that are beneficial in a wide variety of applications.

Soy Polymer

Polymers that are designed and engineered around the protein component of soybeans.

DuPont™ Renewably Sourced™ Materials contain a minimum of 20% renewably sourced ingredient by weight.