Biobased Materials

A category of materials derived from renewable biological sources, such as plants, fungi, and micro-organisms, as an alternative to those derived from fossil fuels.
Technology Life Cycle

Technology Life Cycle


Marked by a rapid increase in technology adoption and market expansion. Innovations are refined, production costs decrease, and the technology gains widespread acceptance and use.

Technology Readiness Level (TRL)

Technology Readiness Level (TRL)

Prototype Demonstration

Prototype is fully demonstrated in operational environment.

Technology Diffusion

Technology Diffusion

Early Adopters

Embrace new technologies soon after Innovators. They often have significant influence within their social circles and help validate the practicality of innovations.

Biobased Materials

Biobased materials harness the natural properties of biological sources and convert them into usable materials. For example, plant-based materials can be obtained by extracting components such as cellulose, starch, or vegetable oils. These components can then be processed and transformed into various forms, including fibers, textiles, films, coatings, adhesives, plastics, and packaging. Similarly, micro-organisms can be engineered to produce specific compounds or polymers through fermentation or bioengineering techniques. Also, through careful cultivation and processing, mycelium can be grown and shaped into various forms, serving as a sustainable substitute for traditional materials like leather.

Biobased materials reduce reliance on fossil fuels; they help mitigate environmental impacts and promote a more sustainable and circular economy. This class of materials often has a lower carbon footprint compared with its conventional counterparts, with its production process generally requiring less energy and emitting fewer greenhouse gases. Additionally, these materials can be biodegradable or compostable, reducing waste accumulation and offering end-of-life options that minimize environmental harm. Furthermore, biobased materials can provide improved performance characteristics. For example, some biobased plastics offer comparable or even superior mechanical properties, thermal stability, and barrier properties compared with traditional plastics. This makes them suitable for a wide range of applications in industries such as packaging, fashion, automotive, medicine, and construction.

Future Perspectives

Biobased materials could find applications across industries. Eventually, they could be used for sustainable electronic components, such as biodegradable and flexible substrates, conductive inks made from plant-based materials, and biobased dielectric materials. Additionally, they could find applications in energy storage, including biodegradable and sustainable battery components, such as electrodes, separators, and electrolytes.

Biobased materials could also be utilized in 3D printing processes to create sustainable and biodegradable products, leveraging the versatility and customization capabilities of additive manufacturing. They could even be developed into high-performance composites, offering lightweight and environmentally friendly alternatives for aerospace, automotive, and construction applications. They could also revolutionize the medical field by creating biocompatible and biodegradable biomedical devices, including implants, drug delivery systems, and tissue engineering scaffolds.

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Ecomatters helps you be compliant with legislation and regulation relevant throughout the full life cycle of biobased materials.
This is now changing rapidly, reinvigorating the market. Demand is growing, driven by increasingly environmentally conscious consumers and governments’ Net Zero targets requiring consumer-focused product companies to achieve sustainability. Finally, technology breakthroughs are bringing down production costs for bio-based materials, while improving their performance to make them comparable or superior to fossil-based counterparts.
EU policies related to bio-based products, procurement involving bio-based products, and the European Commission expert group for bio-based products.
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Walls, floors, insulation materials, paints: more and more construction projects are utilising biobased materials. We take a closer look at 9 innovations that eschew non-renewable resources that were designed with the help of INRAE researchers.
Bio-based materials are a substance that is composed entirely of matter taken from living organisms.

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