Exciting new opportunities are emerging for sustainably meeting many global energy needs and simultaneously creating high value biobased consumer and construction products from wood, forest and agricultural residues, and other biobased materials. In addition to traditional value added biobased products, such as lumber, paper, paperboard, and composites, opportunities are now on the horizon for biorefining to produce electricity, transportation fuels, chemical feedstocks, syngas, and nanocrystalline cellulose. In the near future, nanocrystalline cellulose, produced as a high value byproduct from the biorefining process, could likely compete with carbon fiber for use in innovative high strength biocomposites. The holistic view of how to achieve both traditional and new high value materials with enhanced performance properties from renewable resources is called Integrated Biomass Technologies. This concept promotes the use of sustainable, biobased, environmentally neutral (or even beneficial) technologies to meet global demands for building and materials end uses, chemicals, and energy. This concept provides a systematic approach for maximizing value, performance, resource sustainability, and improving profitability in the agriculture and forest products industries.
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