Looking for a safer cleaning product? How about an earth-friendly alternative for heating your home? Consumers are finding the solution to several of these challenges in newly developed soy-based products. Here are some examples:

THE CLEANING BEAN

With several health concerns associated with cleaning products, today many manufacturers are replacing petroleum with soy in solvents for general-purpose cleaners, parts cleaners, graffiti removers, adhesive removers, paint strippers, ink cleaners and other applications.

The “green” products are healthier for the people using them, not to mention the environment. The soy-based solvents break down immediately and eventually degrade into water, mineral salts and other components, and cause few hazardous issues.

Through checkoff funding, soy cleaning products have been developed for everything from house and carpet cleaning to outdoor projects for cleaning decks, driveways and grills.

BETTER THAN WD40

When it comes to lubricating mechanical parts, WD40 has been a long-time favorite. But now, Glysol PenTrate offers a soy alternative to the petroleum lubricant. Developed by Workcell Systems Inc. with support from the checkoff, the soy-based lubricant offers the same properties and performance of WD40, except that it's free of petroleum and other distillates.

During more than a year of field tests, Glysol PenTrate produced 50% (and in some applications up to 100%) greater lubricity than petroleum-based counterparts. Since the soy-based product is naturally hydrophobic, it displaces water from metal surfaces and, being slow to evaporate, leaves a thin film coating that resists rust and corrosion.

Most importantly, Glysol PenTrate is non-toxic for the environment and represents a renewable resource — thus reducing dependence on domestic and foreign petroleum sources. Should the product be released into the environment, it completely biodegrades in fewer than 60 days compared with petroleum, which can persist for decades.

HIGHWAY HELPER

Soy is also helping to repair roads. Developed by BioSpan Technologies of Washington, MO, soy-based polymers are key ingredients in an asphalt millings product called Activate.

Activate blends with reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) in a cold mix, strengthening all aspects of road construction in a biobased manner. And because it isn't a temperature-sensitive paving material, workers can fix potholes and pave roadways year-round with ease.

HEATING ALTERNATIVE

More home and commercial heating options are becoming available thanks to soybeans as well. Bioheat is a soy-based heating oil developed by the checkoff-funded National Biodiesel Board (NBB). Bioheat fuel is made from biodiesel and generic heating oil.

It's cleaner burning than traditional heating oils, with studies showing that Bioheat reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by 20% and sulfur oxide emissions by up to 83% when using a 20% Bioheat blend. And, there is less smoke and odor from Bioheat than from conventional heating oil. Bioheat will help reduce the need for more than 300 million gallons of petroleum-based fuel each year.

22 THAT ARE NEW

In 2006, 22 new soy-based products were introduced to the market. By category they include:

PLASTICS

VIKOL 1 & 2 — polyols for polyurethane foams and coatings

Green BMC — 100% soy resin used for automotive molding

Envirez 1807 — thermoset polyester for vacuum bag process for fan shrouds

Envirez 1807 — soy-based resin for building materials

Envirez 5000 — low profile thermoset sheet molding compound for new model tractor hoods and covers

Envirez 6934 — infusion resin being molded into small parts for over-the-road trucks

Envirez — soy-based resin for small utility trailers

BiOH Polyols — soy polyol for multiple plastic applications

SoyMatrix — soy polyurethane designed for pultrusion applications

LUBRICANTS

Naturelube 700 — soy-based lubricant for metal protection

COATINGS/PRINTING INKS/ADHESIVES

Agri-Sperse — soy-based pigment for water-based and solvent coatings

Agri-Color — soy-based colorant system for water-based paints

Agri-Solv — soy paint and glue stripper

ELMS Platinum — soy-linseed high performance roof coating

SPECIALTY PRODUCTS

EOS — soy oil for cleaning polluted groundwater

Amaizeing — soy/corn oil-based solvent and stripper

Biorenewables Industrial Degreaser

Tri-Base Multi Purpose Cleaner — soy-based parts cleaner

Biorenewables Waterless Hand Cleaner

Graffiti Remover SAC

Soy Verde — soy-based solvent