With funding from the soybean checkoff, 26 new soy-based products hit the market in 2009. They represent a diverse range of categories — from foams for insulation, furniture and mattresses to adhesives, ink-toner cartridges and cleaners — and generally have two attributes in common: They're sustainable and they boost demand for U.S. soybeans.
By 2010, industrial use of soybean oil is expected to reach 1.15-1.35 billion pounds of soybean oil, or the oil from nearly 120 million bushels. That's up from 80 million bushels used in 2008, reports the United Soybean Board (USB). And, with more than 1.56 billion bushels of U.S. soy exported, soy remains the leading U.S. agricultural ex-port, valued at $15 billion.
Much of the demand for soy-based products stems from educational efforts to inform consumers about the environmental, and often economical benefits of using soy. A new exhibit at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago (below, right) spotlights all aspects of soy.
Developed and funded by the Illinois Soybean Association and USB, the interactive exhibit at the Farm-in-the-Zoo teaches how soybeans are grown and highlights the many products they comprise — from animal feed to biodiesel, printing inks and crayons, to cleaning supplies and human food.
In Indiana, soybean and corn farmers have teamed up with the Indianapolis Colts for the Hoosier Horsepower campaign.
High school participants can enter a biofuels video contest to win scholarships. Middle-school students can earn prizes from the Colts in a new biofuels education curriculum package. And elementary students can meet the Colts' mascot, Blue, by entering a coloring contest featuring soy crayons or creating their own biofuels- and Colts-themed posters.
Colts tight end Dallas Clark, who grew up on an Iowa farm, is its official program spokesperson. And, for each catch Clark made during the season, the Colts donate $100 on behalf of Indiana corn and soybean farmers to a scholarship fund. (At press time, the fund was already past $60,000.)
The program will also recognize teachers for their outstanding work by granting Hoosier Horsepower Teacher Awards. For more details visit www.colts.com/HoosierHorse power.
A third soybean educational effort can be found on the racetrack, as the soybean industry teams up with the Furniture Row Racing team and its Car of the Heartland. During the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season the team will help educate America about the importance of soy biodiesel and soy-based products at NASCAR events across the country. The car will sport graphics that highlight and support U.S. agriculture, and biodiesel will fuel the semi that shuttles the car from race to race. The team also plans to use soy-based degreasers and cleaners.
The creativity of products developed with soy also often earns them notoriety with consumers. This fall a Purdue University student on the ABC show “Shark Tank” persuaded venture capitalists to financially back his invention called Soy-Yer Dough. The modeling dough made from soy is wheat- and gluten-free, allowing children with wheat allergies to play with it.
Today, the young entrepreneur Sawyer Sparks successfully sells the unique modeling dough online at www.soy-yer.com.
Similarly, the Indiana Soybean Alliance, challenges students to create new soy-based products with its annual soy new uses contest. Last year (2009) was the 15th year for the competition and featured 12 teams with 33 students participating. Both Melt-a-Way dissolving cupcake liners and Terra Mat, a cork-like product, featured soybeans as a major component and were the top new products in the competition.
While these student-developed products may take some time to catch on, one soy-based product moving into the mainstream is soy-based toner cartridges, a green printing alternative.
AgriTone cartridges print with a toner called BioBlack, made from renewable biobased ingredients, including soybean oil. The cartridges work in several Hewlett Packard LaserJet printers. BioBlack is 37% biobased, the highest among all currently available toners.
The toner cartridges are a product of a 10-plus-year partnership with the Ohio Soybean Council and Battelle Memorial Institute. For details, visit http://westpointproducts.com/agritonemain.aspx.
There are also neat developments with soy on the food and drink front. Burcon NutraScience (www.burcon.ca) has developed a new soy protein isolate with no beany taste, and the ability to be mixed into acidic beverages — like sports drinks, juices and sodas — without precipitating out. And once mixed in, the drink stays clear. These advanced features could make soy much more widely used in foods and beverages of the future. Stay tuned.
This is part of a series featuring new soy-based products.
Just some of the new soy-based products introduced as a result of soybean checkoff support include:
Soy Seal - canned insulating foams
Polylite 31325-00 - unsaturated polyester resin for composites
Renuva - soy-based natural oil polyols used to make bedding foams
SoyFoam - soy foam for seats/headrests/armrests
Honey Bee - soy-based polyols for molded-furniture seating foams
Ecoflex - a mattress using foam based on Renuva natural oil polyols
Green Comfort - sandals containing Renuva natural oil polyols in the polyurethane sole
Hybrid industrial coating containing soy for wood and metal applications
Varathane Nano Defence - abrasion-resistant stain for wood floors
OSF Ecopure HPJ Soy - sheet-fed lithographic ink
OSF EcoTech Process Inks - sustainable lithographic ink system with low VOCs
BioMG -inks for digital printers
Soyad-soy flour adhesive
Soythane90 - polyurethane adhesive based on soy polymers
Multibond MX100 - soy-based polyvinyl acetate adhesive for hardwood plywood
Soyanol 1000E - soy methyl ester (SME)-based coalescing agent
Soyanol 5000E - SME-based coatings solvent
Goof Off Citrus - SME-based degreaser and adhesive remover
Goof Off 2 - SME-based water rinsable degreaser
F-500 - Bi-Solvent Cleaning System - SME-based parts cleaner
VOS - thixotropic gel for soil bioremediation
LactOil and CAP 18 ME - fpr groundwater bioremediation
SoyGreen Wood Polish & Multi Surface Cleaner - SME cleaner
Soy Green Ultimate Graffiti Remover - SME cleaner
Seamseal - pavement crack sealant
A complete listing is available at www.soynewuses.org.