SOY APPLICATIONS PROVIDE DEPENDABLE INDUSTRIAL ALTERNATIVES
The United Soybean Board (USB), through soybean checkoff investments, is committed to funding the research, development and commercialization of new industrial uses for soybeans. It is USB’s mission to increase soybean demand through advancements in soy-based research and technology. The Board focuses efforts on target areas including: adhesives, thermoset plastics, polyurethanes, paints and coatings, inks, solvents, fibers, paper and rubber. And on soy-based ingredients such as blown soybean oil, polyols for plastics and polyurethane, protein, propylene glycol, methyl ester, surfactants and emulsifiers, and waxes.
New soy-based products are quickly gaining popularity as USB and the soybean checkoff continue to update industry leaders and researchers about the many benefits they can enjoy when the “think soy”. Alternative industrial products have seen a heightened demand due to increasing government regulations. Improving overall product performance with soy is prompting manufacturers to replace petrochemicals with the renewable product.
For the past decade, U.S. soybean farmers have helped fund the development of many successful new uses for soybeans, including soy plastics and foams, soy methyl esters and soy ink. Research to find new applications for these products continues in an effort to utilize more U.S. soybeans.
The soybean, often referred to as the miracle crop, provides a sustainable source of protein and oil worldwide. Soy’s properties allow its use in a variety of applications from animal feed and human consumption, to road fuel and other industrial uses. Because soy grows throughout the world, it represents a viable and renewable replacement for petrochemicals. Soybean production increased more than 70 percent in the last twenty years. And, in the same time period, soybean farmers used more sustainable farming practices by reducing energy use, as well as reducing carbon emissions.
Versatile For Many Applications
Composed of both protein and oil, soybeans open the door for a variety of uses. Soybean processors can divide soy’s components into soy protein (soybean meal) and soy oil. Soy protein, which makes up 80 percent of the soybean, primarily serves as animal feed and is incorporated in many human foods. For oil, the U.S. food industry consumes more than 83 percent of U.S. soybean oil for purposes such as cooking, baking and frying. The remaining soybean oil is applied in industrial applications such as adhesives, coatings and printing inks, lubricants, plastics and specialty products, but also biodiesel, a fuel using soybean oil as a feedstock. When it comes to the U.S. soybean oil supply, there’s room at the table for both human consumption and industrial uses of soybean oil.
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