Science, Tech, Math › Science Feedstock in Chemistry and Engineering Share Flipboard Email Print Corn is used as a feedstock used for biodiesel (biofuel). Dave Reede / Getty Images Science Chemistry Chemical Laws Basics Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated November 05, 2019 A feedstock refers to any unprocessed material used to supply a manufacturing process. Feedstocks are bottleneck assets because their availability determines the ability to make products. In its most general sense, a feedstock is a natural material (e.g., ore, wood, seawater, coal) that has been transformed for marketing in large volumes. In engineering, particularly as it relates to energy, a feedstock refers specifically to a renewable, biological material that can be converted into energy or fuel. In chemistry, a feedstock is a chemical used to support a large-scale chemical reaction. The term usually refers to an organic substance. Also Known As: A feedstock may also be called a raw material or unprocessed material. Sometimes feedstock is a synonym for biomass. Examples of Feedstocks Using the broad definition of a feedstock, any natural resource might be considered an example, including any mineral, vegetation, or air or water. If it can be mined, grown, caught, or collected and isn't produced by man, it's a raw material. When a feedstock is a renewable biological substance, examples include crops, woody plants, algae, petroleum, and natural gas. Specifically, crude oil is a feedstock for the production of gasoline. In the chemical industry, petroleum is a feedstock for a host of chemicals, including methane, propylene, and butane. Algae is a feedstock for hydrocarbon fuels, Corn is a feedstock for ethanol. Sources McClellan, James E., III; Dorn, Harold (2006). Science and Technology in World History: An Introduction. JHU Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8360-6.