Through their checkoff, U.S. soybean farmers are increasing demand for U.S. soybeans by developing new industrial soy-based products. Focused in five major target areas, the soybean checkoff and the United Soybean Board's (USB) New Uses Committee (NUC) fund the research, development and commercialization of new soy-based industrial products, such as solvents, lubricants and plastics.
"The New Uses Committee has had great success this past year supporting the development of 13 new soybean products ready for the marketplace," says NUC Chairman Eric Niemann, a soybean farmer from Nortonville, KS. "Our work seems so worthwhile when we can affect a particular industry, or many in this case, and ensure them that soy-based products are just as effective as the products they have been using."
Working from the ground up, these soy-based products are making an impact on small and large industries alike. Leading this effort is soy-based carpet backing. Dow Chemical, in cooperation with Universal Textile Technologies, introduced in June BIOBALANCE polymers, a soy polyol-based carpet backing used in polyurethane-backed carpet. The carpet backing utilizes SoyOyl technology, developed by Urethane Soy Systems.
Moving from floors to walls, the NUC funded the development of a soy-based spray foam insulation, again, utilizing SoyOyl technology. The insulation has lower toxicity and is highly competitive when compared to traditional spray foam or fiberglass batting insulation. The soy-based foam insulation provides better insulating qualities in a four-inch stud wall than in a six-inch stud wall using fiberglass batting insulation. This helps contribute to lower overall building costs.
To top it all off, a soy-based roofing coating was commercialized this past year. Green Grip, developed by Niemann & Associates, is the only roofing coating to earn Energy Star Label approval. The coating is designed to deflect ultraviolet rays, reducing the amount of energy needed to cool a building. The product has been seen success in metropolitan areas, including Chicago and parts of California.
In addition to construction-related products, the NUC funded the development of lubricants and other specialty products. Desigreen 215B, manufactured by Desilube, is an extreme-pressure metalworking fluid for heavy-duty machining capable of replacing 35 percent chlorine-containing metalworking fluids.
Allchem Products introduced Soy Blaster, a soy-based graffiti remover, and various manufacturers have developed other paint strippers based on Vertec Gold technology. Soy Technologies has developed Soy Green, a cleaner and stripper available in three formulations, and Soy Derm, a waterless hand cleaner.
Gemtek Products, Inc., introduced EZ Solv, a soy-based ink cleaner; Maxi Solv, a soy-based precision cleaner; and SC Supersolve, an industrial solvent based on methyl soyate. Additional soy-based cleaners were developed by Copia Labs, which debuted BOS 130M, a textile ink cleaner, and Copia Cleaner HR, a printing ink cleaner.
ACE 50, a soy-based concrete mold release product manufactured by Terresolve Technologies, Inc., was introduced. The soy-based product takes the place of diesel fuel, the most common concrete mold release agent used by the industry, providing a safer product for workers and the environment.
The NUC is committed to creating new soybean demand through the discovery, development and introduction of new soy-based products and applications. The numerous products developed this year are helping increase that demand, while providing high-quality bio-based products for many industries.