Demonstrating its commitment to developing new industrial and consumer products that contain U.S. soy, the United Soybean Board (USB) recently released its annual list of soy-based products that the soybean checkoff helped introduce this year. Thanks, in part, to support from the soybean checkoff, 26 new soy-based products hit the market in 2009.

USB’s New Uses program provides funding to scientists and industrial partners to research, develop and commercialize products containing soybeans. Marty Ross, vice chair of the USB New Uses program who is in his fifth year as a soybean checkoff farmer-leader, said watching a soy-based product develop from concept to commercialization is very gratifying.

“To see this many products come to fruition year in and year out with the help of the soybean checkoff is amazing,” said the Delmar, Del., soybean farmer. “The role of the soybean checkoff’s New Uses program is to benefit soybean farmers by increasing industrial demand for U.S. soy. And I think the New Uses program is certainly doing that and will continue to do that, in part, by supporting the next generation of products such as these.”

The soybean checkoff directs its funding toward several categories, including adhesives, coatings, printing inks, lubricants, plastics, fibers and solvents.

Consumers can find some of this year’s new products, including a soy-based wood floor stain from Rust-Oleum, a line of Simmons mattresses that include soy-based foam, and a soy-based degreaser and adhesive remover available at retail outlets such as The Home Depot and Ace Hardware. Others, such as a soy-based adhesive used to manufacture plywood, a soy-based pavement crack sealant and soy-based bioremediation agents used in environmental cleanup, will mostly be noticed by industrial users.

While the products represent a diverse range of categories, they generally have two attributes in common: They’re sustainable and they boost demand for U.S. soy.

The soybean checkoff works to advance the sustainability movement, in part, by developing and promoting soy-based products. Many of the projects the soybean checkoff funds led to products that use soybean oil as a replacement for petrochemicals, making them more renewable and more environmentally friendly than their non-soy-based counterparts.

Statistics show the checkoff’s efforts to expand industrial demand for soybean oil work. By 2010, industrial use is expected to be between 1.15 and 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.

The list of new soy-based products represents an annual culmination of a three-to-five-year process that began with researchers trying to persuade soybean checkoff farmer-leaders that their ideas held potential for increasing soy demand.

“We solicit applications, review the concepts and select them based on their technical merit and market potential,” Ross explained. “Number one, the product must be technically feasible – can it be done? And, number two, just because it can be done, is it viable? What’s the product’s market value, and how many bushels of soybeans will it use?”

The soybean checkoff’s industrial partners continue to produce an assortment of sustainable soy-based products without making an impact on the world’s food supply. The food industry uses 87 percent of the U.S. supply of soybean oil. Oil makes up just 18 percent of a soybean; the remainder consists of protein-rich meal. A USB study found that industrial demand for soybean oil for such things as biodiesel and soy-based products increases the supply of soybean meal, which will be largely used to produce more food, not less.

USB is made up of 68 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff.

The new soy-based products introduced in 2009 as a result of soybean checkoff support include:

PLASTICS

Soy Seal™ – soy-based canned insulating foams being sold at hardware stores, from BioBased Technologies
Polylite™ 31325-00 – unsaturated polyester resin for composites, from Reichhold Chemical
Renuva™ – soy-based Natural Oil Polyols used to make bedding foams for Simmons Bedding’s Natural Care Collection, from Dow Polyurethanes 
SoyFoam™ – soy foam for seats/headrests/armrests in the 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe, Sonata sedan and the 2009 Kia Amanti sedan, from Lear. Lear will also supply General Motors with SoyFoam for its trucks and SUVs as well as Ford for the seats in the Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKE, from Lear
Honey Bee™ – soy-based polyols for use in Chromcraft molded-furniture seating foams, from MCPU Polymer Engineering
Ecoflex – a mattress product line named Equilibrio Natural Ecoflex that uses foam based on Renuva Natural Oil Polyols in the comfort layers of the mattresses, from foam and mattress manufacturer Ecoflex 
Green Comfort™ – sandals containing Renuva Natural Oil Polyols in the polyurethane sole, from shoe manufacturer Grupo Ravi and Wal-Mart

COATINGS/PRINTING INKS/ADHESIVES

Hybrid industrial coating containing soy for wood and metal applications, from Sherwin-Williams
Varathane Nano Defence – soy-based abrasion-resistant stain for wood floors, from Rust-Oleum
OSF Ecopure HPJ Soy – soy-based sheetfed lithographic ink, from INX International
OSF EcoTech Process Inks – soy-based sustainable lithographic ink system with low VOCs, from INX International
BioMG – soy-based inks for digital printers used in OEM type inks, from INX International
Soyad – soy flour adhesive for use in wood panels, from H2H
Soythane™90 – 100 percent solids, multipurpose polyurethane adhesive based on soy polymers, from Bondaflex Technologies
Multibond MX100 – a one-component soy-based polyvinyl acetate adhesive for hardwood plywood, from Franklin International

SPECIALTY PRODUCTS

Soyanol™ 1000E – soy methyl ester (SME)-based coalescing agent, from Soy Technologies
Soyanol™ 5000E – SME-based coatings solvent, from Soy Technologies
Goof Off Citrus – SME-based degreaser and adhesive remover, from WM Barr
Goof Off 2 – SME-based water rinsable degreaser, from WM Barr
F-500 – Bi-Solvent Cleaning System – SME-based parts cleaner, from Forward Technology
VOS™ – soy-based thixotropic gel for soil bioremediation, from EOS Remediation
LactOil™ – soy-based microemulsion for groundwater bioremediation, from JRW Bioremediation
CAP 18 ME™ – soy-based groundwater bioremediation product, from Carus Remediation
SoyGreen™ Wood Polish & Multi Surface Cleaner – SME cleaner, from Soy Technologies
Soy Green™ Ultimate Graffiti Remover – SME cleaner, from Soy Technologies
Seamseal™ – soy-based pavement crack sealant, from BioSpan Technologies