Antibiotics, also called antibacterial, are a type of antimicrobial drug used in the treatment and prevention of bacterial infection. They either kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria.
Fine chemicals are produced in limited volumes (< 1000 tons/year) and at relatively high prices according to exacting specifications, mainly by traditional organic synthesis in multipurpose chemical plants. Biotechnical processes are gaining ground. The global production value is about $85 billion.
Fine chemicals are used as starting materials for specialty chemicals, particularly pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. Custom manufacturing for the life science industry plays a big role; however, a significant portion of the fine chemicals total production volume is manufactured in house by large users. The industry is fragmented and extends from small, privately owned companies to divisions of big, diversified chemical enterprises.
The term "fine chemicals" is used in distinction to "heavy chemicals", which are produced and handled in large lots and are often in a crude state.
Agrochemical companies are the second largest users of fine chemicals. Most products have a “pharmaceutical heritage”. As a consequence of an intensive M&A activity over the past 10–20 years, the industry now is more consolidated than the pharmaceutical industry.
Generics play a bigger role in the agro than in the pharma industry. They represent some 70% of the global market. The incidence of the cost of the active ingredient is about 33%; i.e., much higher than in drugs. Depending on the climatic conditions affecting crop yields, consumption and prices of agrochemicals are subject to wide fluctuations from year to year, impacting also the suppliers.
Bio-fertilizers add nutrients through the natural processes of nitrogen fixation, solubilizing phosphorus, and stimulating plant growth through the synthesis of growth-promoting substances.
Bio-fertilizers can be expected to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The microorganisms in bio-fertilizers restore the soil's natural nutrient cycle and build soil organic matter.
Through the use of bio-fertilizers, healthy plants can be grown, while enhancing the sustainability and the health of the soil. Since they play several roles, a preferred scientific term for such beneficial bacteria is "plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria" (PGPR). Therefore, they are extremely advantageous in enriching soil fertility and fulfilling plant nutrient requirements by supplying the organic nutrients through microorganism and their by-products. Hence, bio-fertilizers do not contain any chemicals which are harmful to the living soil.
Bio-fertilizers provide eco-friendly organic agro-input and are more cost-effective than chemical fertilizers.