Plants for Materials and Polymers

Plants for the construction industry
Plants for the Construction Industry 

Plant material, and in particular wood, has been used for centuries as a raw material for the construction industry. 




Plants for Clothing and Furnishings

India and China are the major producers of cotton, which is used in the clothing, furnishing sectors.


Example: Use of Plant Materials in the Automotive Industry

  • Hemp fibres are also being increasingly used as an alternative material in the automotive industry. Natural fibre compression moulding is an established and proven process, used by > 95% of the car industry for the production of extensive, lightweight and high-class interior parts in medium and luxury class cars. The  advantages of natural fibres compression moulding are lightweight construction; crash behaviour; deformation resistance; lamination ability; and cost-effective price.
  • Biopolymers are also being used in the materials industry, with poly-lactic acid being produced at commercial scale at the NatureWorks plant in Nebraska, USA, and marketed under the Indigo brand name.
  • Corn starch is also used in the construction of Goodyear's BioTred tyres, which have improved performance characteristic compared to conventional car tyres, with tests showing a 5% reduction in energy consumption compared with conventionnal tyres.
  • Novamont also produce a range of bioplastics at their biorefinery plant in Terni, Italy, which have uses in the retail, agriculture, catering and waste-management industries.
  • Solvay manufacture epichlorohydrin in Europe at their plant in Tavaux, France, in a process which transforms glycerine derived from biodiesel production, which has applications as an epoxyresin and is also used as paper reinforcement and in water purification.

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KTN's Plant Sector Publications

KTN's Plant Sector has developed a series of publications to highlight the economic benefit of research and development to the agriculture and food industry. 


New forage varieties for the sustainable intensification of the livestock agriculture

April 2011


Analysis of the economic impact of plants breeding in the UK

April 2011


Analysis of the impact of crop protection chemistry on agricultural production

May 2011


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