Industrial Uses of Agricultural Materials Situation and Outlook Report No. (IUS -2) 43 pp

December 1993

Industrial Uses of Agricultural Materials Situation and Outlook Report (2)

U.S. agriculture likely will have excess capacity for the foreseeable future. However, technological breakthroughs, heightened environmental awareness, and tougher environmental regulations are creating opportunities to use this capacity to produce industrial products. Although cornstarch dominates the industrial starch market, wheat starch is also used to manufacture industrial products. Because of widely fluctuating world supplies, major castor oil buyers have expressed an interest in U.S. production. In addition, a consortium of industrial, university, and government organizations has come together to commercialize lesquerella. Castor and lesquerella are sources of hydroxy fatty acids used by industry in a variety of applications, including cosmetics, waxes, nylons, plastics, coatings, and lubricants. The 1993 kenaf harvest has been completed in Louisiana and is underway in California, Mississippi, and Texas. In the United States, flax is the most extensively used nonwood fiber employed in papermaking, except for cotton. Animal byproducts are used to manufacture pharmaceuticals with a wide range of applications. A special article examines a simulation model that evaluates the feasibility of a community-based 500,000-gallon biodiesel plant in the United States. Soybeans were found to be the most cost-effective feedstock, mainly because the meal is a useful coproduct.

Keywords: industrial uses, agricultural materials, ethanol, corn, wheat starch, castor, lesquerella, kenaf, flax, livestock byproducts, forest products, guayule, neem, biodiesel

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