Businesses are working to increase the use of renewable sources in structural composite materials to reduce dependence on non-renewable petroleum based raw materials. These new materials are referred to generally as "biocomposites". The trend to develop and use these materials have been influenced by a number of factors including increased environmental and health concerns, more sustainable methods of manufacture, and reduced energy consumption.
There is of course also an increased need for light weight composites for more fuel efficient vehicles, to reduce the cost of transporting and erecting building materials, and so forth.This article focuses on the development of naturally occurring resin binders for this purpose. It will assess the environmental benefits of these materials, their performance requirements, as well as the market forces that are acting on them. The article also hopes to provide an overview of biocomposites and their place in the future economy.