Helping to Commercialize
Sustainable Technology and Processes
Murray McLaughlin

The Integration of
Bio-Based Industries

I recently read an article on the integration of bio-based supply chains in a newsletter from the UK's National Centre for Biorenewable Energy, Fuels and Materials (NNFCC). This is a strategy that makes a lot of sense and fits nicely with the hybrid chemistry strategy that we are promoting for the Sarnia cluster.

The concept is that, by integrating supply chains, we can minimize waste production and maximize the efficiency of the supply chain. Integration can be achieved by using the co-products from one process as a feedstock for another. This could have far reaching consequences for decentralized power, heat and fuel production, as well as for the manufacture of bio-based chemicals and materials.

Of course, as with any new concept, there are challenges. For integration to work, you need dynamic supply chains, which can sustain multiple coordinated processes. In the fuel and chemical manufacturing industries, opportunities do exist for integration. In agriculture, the opportunities for integration will be sustainable and economical at a smaller scale through co-production and co-location.

Integration offers positive solutions to the challenges facing society, such as waste reduction and climate change. We are in the early days of recognizing the opportunities for integration between sectors such as food production, energy production, animal feed, chemical manufacturing and packaging. As we move forward, we will see more food and non-food supply chains integrated to create viable, profitable businesses.

By integrating processes, we can produce multiple products from one feedstock. For example, second-generation biofuel technology will offer the opportunity for lignocellulosic feedstocks to be made into bio-based chemicals, energy and biomaterials. The result is multiple products from one feedstock.

In the future, we will see more closely integrated linkages between food and non-food sectors as we increase our knowledge of processes for dealing with co-products and minimizing waste streams.

Ontario is well positioned to create integrated bio-based products because of our broad-based agriculture and processing industry and our extensive chemistry and materials industry that supports the auto industry, as well as several other manufacturing industries.

Sustainable Chemistry Alliance

Dr.Murray McLaughlin, President & CEO
1086 Modeland Rd. Sarnia, ON N7S 6L2
[email protected]


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Spring 2011 - SusChemAlliance - Page 1
Spring 2011 - SusChemAlliance - Page 1