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Biotic material or biological derived material is any material that originates from living organisms. Most such materials contain carbon and are capable of decay.
The use of biotic materials, and processed biotic materials (bio-based material) as alternative natural materials, over synthetics is popular with those who are environmentally conscious because such materials are usually biodegradable, renewable, and the processing is commonly understood and has minimal environmental impact. However, not all biotic materials are environmentally friendly, such as those that require high levels of processing, are harvested unsustainably, or are used to produce carbon emissions.
When the source of the recently-living material has little importance to the product produced, such as in the production of biofuels, biotic material is simply called biomass. Many fuel sources may have biological sources, and may be divided roughly into fossil fuels, and biofuel.
In soil science, biotic material is often referred to as organic matter. Biotic materials in soil include glomalin, Dopplerite and humic acid. Some biotic material may not be considered to be organic matter if it is low in organic compounds, such as a clam's shell, which is an essential component of the living organism, but contains little organic carbon.
Examples of the use of biotic materials include: