Glossary

Agricultural Biotechnology:

Agricultural biotechnology can be broadly defined as scientific applications that involve the use of living organisms, or parts of living organisms, including individual genes, to provide new methods of production and make new products. Biotechnology includes genetic engineering (GE), in which an organism's genetic material is intentionally altered in a way that does not occur naturally, such as by the insertion of foreign genes. Biotechnology also includes non-genetic engineering techniques for modifying genes and their functions.

Agronomy:

The science and technology of soil management and crop production. Agronomic work can involve soil science, genetics, physiology, and meteorology. Issues dealt with include irrigation, breeding, crop rotation, soil fertility, and pest control.

Anaerobic Digestion:

Microorganisms are used to degrade organic materials in the absence of oxygen, to produce methane and carbon dioxide. It is used to manage waste and produce energy. Many farmers use anaerobic digesters to produce energy for their own farms but in many jurisdictions they are also able to sell the electricity to the power utility.

Aspartic Acid:

A nonessential, natural amino acid that occurs in proteins.

Biomass:

Living and recently dead biological/renewable materials from agricultural (plant or animal), marine or forestry resources including those from industrial and/or municipal wastes.

Biochemicals:

Chemicals produced, at least in part, from biomass, rather than petroleum based inputs. Biochemicals are sometimes referred to as bio-based chemicals and plant-based chemicals.

Bioeconomy:

An economy centered around the sustainable manufacture of products derived, at least in part, from renewable resources. It involves a variety of processes ranging from feedstock production to the manufacture of end products.

Bioenergy:

The production, conversion, and use of biomass to produce energy. Biomass is used in place of petroleum, coal and nuclear fuels that are often used to produce energy.

Biofibres:

Renewable, biodegradable fibres produced from biomass such as agricultural residues and purpose-grown crops (for example, hemp and flax). Biofibres can be used in the production of structural components such as decking, doors and shelves. They can be blended with petroleum-based resins and polymers in a range of applications in the automotive and other manufacturing sectors.

Biofuels:

Includes fuels, such as ethanol, biodiesel, methane, methanol, and hydrogen, which were obtained by converting biomass into a liquid or gaseous fuel.

Biomaterials:

Processed or engineered materials fully or partly comprised of biomass components (it is also referred to as bio-based materials). Examples of biomaterials include soy-based foam, and composites incorporating agricultural or wood fibres.

Bioplastics:

A plastic derived from biomass (for example, corn-based polylactic acid plastic). In the production of bioplastics, petroleum inputs are replaced, at least in part, with inputs derived from biomass.

Bioproducts:

Commercial or industrial products other than food, feed and medicines made with biomass.

Biorefinery:

A biorefinery, much like an oil refinery, is a processing plant that works to achieve the highest possible value out of biomass feedstocks. A biorefinery might use biomass to produce various types and grades of biofuel, an assortment of chemicals, animal feed, pure carbon dioxide for industrial purposes or secondary oil recovery, and even electricity and heat, either for its own use or to feed into the grid. The goal is to make the by-products from one process serve as raw materials for another product so that the least amount of the biomass is wasted.

Biosuccinic Acid:

A bio-based chemical substitute for petroleum-derived succinic acid. Succinic acid is a high volume specialty chemical produced by catalytic hydrogenation of petrochemical maleic acid or anhydride. It has a wide range of uses and products that utilize biosuccinic acid include lubricants, de-icers, biopolymers, food additives and cosmetics.

By-product:

A secondary product generated from an industrial, manufacturing, or chemical process. In a biorefinery, by-products from one process serve as raw materials for another product in order to minimize the amount of biomass that is wasted.

Cellulosic Ethanol:

A biofuel produced from crop residues, wood, grasses, or the inedible parts of plants. It is a type of biofuel produced from lignocellulose, a structural material that comprises much of the mass of plants. Lignocellulose is composed mainly of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin.

Cluster:

A business cluster is a geographic concentration of interconnected businesses, suppliers, and associated institutions in a particular field. They are considered to increase the productivity with which companies can compete, nationally and globally.

Commercialization:

The different steps needed to bring an innovation to the market. These include technology development and demonstration, product commercialization and market development and market entry and volume.

Co-operatives:

An enterprise that is jointly owned by the members who use its services. All members of a co-op are equal decision makers in the enterprise, using a democratic system of one-member, one-vote. In turn, all members share the benefits of co-operation, based on how much they use the co-operative's service.

Crop Residues:

The portion of agricultural biomass that remains once a crop has been harvested and/or processed.

Demonstration:

A marketing tool which uses prototypes or sample projects that are designed to reduce the commercialization risk and enhance the value to potential licensees or investors. A demonstration facility is a smaller than a full-scale processing system, the operation of which is intended to generate information for the development of larger facilities.

Downstream:

The stage in the production process when raw materials (for example, crops, oils from plants) are processed and transformed into products. This stage also includes the sales of these products to consumers, businesses and other organizations.

Feedstock:

A raw material that is used to manufacture one or more products. Raw materials are converted into a product through a chemical, biological, or industrial process.

Feedstock Neutral:

A concept that indicates that specific feedstocks should not be favoured over others in policies and programming, and refers to the fact that bioprocessing technologies can use multiple feedstocks (depending on seasonal prices, local supplies and end-product requirements). Feedstock neutrality endeavours to promote efficiency in the use of feedstocks to optimize local industry opportunities and economic returns, while ultimately supporting market-driven decisions.

Feed-in-Tariff (FIT):

A policy/program put in place to encourage investment in renewable energy technologies. Typically, such programs offer long-term contracts with guaranteed prices to producers of renewable energy. FIT programs have been offered in numerous jurisdictions around the world.

Identity Preservation:

A crop management tracking system that enables organizations to identity of the source or nature of the agricultural commodities.

Innovation:

In the agricultural sector, it is a process that generates new knowledge; develops or adapts new or improved products, processes or practices that are implemented or adopted to add value to farms, firms or the sector.

Land Use Change:

Converting the use of land to another use over time. Concerns have been expressed when natural land becomes land that is used for the extraction of resources such as agriculture or pastoral land use and the impact this may have on biodiversity.

Plant Made Industrial Products (PMIPs):

Biomolecules, produced in genetically-modified plants, intended for use in industrial purposes. These biomolecules can be used, for example, in the production of biodegradable plastics and specialized lubricants. The plants are not intended for use as food, feed or fibre.

Polymers:

A large molecule composed of smaller units connected together through chemical bonding (that is, covalent chemical bonds). Polymers include a wide variety of compounds that can be natural (also called biopolymers for example, shellac, silk, wool) or synthetic (for example, silicone, nylon) in nature.

Pre-processing:

The preparation or pre-treatment of a feedstock for industrial processing, manufacturing, and conversion.

Product Neutral:

A concept that indicates that specific end products should not be favoured in programs or policies. Instead policies and programs should strive to be inclusive of multiple and varied output products (both main bioproducts and co-products) in order to help ensure successful commercialization of biomass processing, and adoption of profitable business models.

Renewable Energy:

Energy derived from a natural, managed or cultivated resource that can be replenished, including wind, solar, geothermal heat, tides, plant products or biomass.

Supply Chain:

A system consisting of people, organizations, technology, information, activities, and resources that play a role in the moving of a product or service from suppliers to customers. In a supply chain, activities are performed by various parties that transform raw materials and components into a final product that is delivered to the end customer.

Total Plant Utilization:

Maximizing the use of plants in order to extract as much value as possible while minimizing the waste. One example would include the use of crop residues/ waste to generate heat and power, in addition to the tradition use of the grain.

Upstream:

The process in the supply chain dedicated to the extraction of raw materials for industrial use. In terms of bioproducts, this would include activities such as the harvesting of crops.

Value Chain:

A value chain is a system designed to provide value for consumers and sustainable profits for each of the businesses in the chain, ranging from the input supplier through to the retailer.

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