Product vs. Byproduct

By Jaxson

  • Byproduct

    A by-product is a secondary product derived from a manufacturing process or chemical reaction. It is not the primary product or service being produced. In the context of production, a by-product is the ‘output from a joint production process that is minor in quantity and/or net realizable value (NRV) when compared with the main products’. Because they are deemed to have no influence on reported financial results, by-products do not receive allocations of joint costs. By-products also by convention are not inventoried, but the NRV from by-products is typically recognized as ‘other income’ or as a reduction of joint production processing costs when the by-product is produced. A by-product can be useful and marketable or it can be considered waste. For example, bran is a byproduct of the milling of refined flour, sometimes composted or burned for disposal but in other cases used as a nutritious ingredient in food or feed, and gasoline was once a byproduct of oil refining that later became a desirable commodity as motor fuel.

    IEA defines “by-product” in the context of life-cycle assessment: “… main products, co-products (which involve similar revenues to the main product), by-products (which result in smaller revenues), and waste products (which provide little or no revenue).”

  • Product (noun)

    A commodity offered for sale.

    “That store offers a variety of products.”

    “We’ve got to sell a lot of product by the end of the month.”


  • Product (noun)

    Any preparation to be applied to the hair, skin, nails, etc.

    “Wash excess product out of your hair.”

  • Product (noun)

    Anything that is produced; a result.

    “The product of last month’s quality standards committee is quite good, even though the process was flawed.”

  • Product (noun)

    The amount of an artifact that has been created by someone or some process.

    “They improve their product every year; they export most of their agricultural production.”


  • Product (noun)

    A consequence of someone’s efforts or of a particular set of circumstances.

    “Skill is the product of hours of practice.”

    “His reaction was the product of hunger and fatigue.”

  • Product (noun)

    A chemical substance formed as a result of a chemical reaction.

    “This is a product of lime and nitric acid.”

  • Product (noun)

    A quantity obtained by multiplication of two or more numbers.

    “The product of 2 and 3 is 6.”

    “The product of 2, 3, and 4 is 24.”

  • Product (noun)

    Any operation or a result thereof which generalises multiplication of numbers, like the product of types or a categorical product.

  • Product (noun)

    Illegal drugs, especially cocaine, when viewed as a commodity.

    “I got some product here – you buying?”

  • Byproduct (noun)

    alternative form of by-product


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