As new uses for soy-based bioproducts continue to rise, consumers have more choices among environmentally friendly products and businesses have new market opportunities. A rapidly renewable ingredient by nature, soybeans often replace or reduce the reliance on petroleum-based materials that are used in the manufacturing of certain products.
Soy-based bioproducts offer benefits that are comparable or superior to the petroleum-based products they replace:
- Performance — Many biobased products perform as well as or better than their non-bioproduct counterparts;
- Cost — Most bioproducts are comparable in price to most traditional products;
- Economic impact — By increasing the use of bioproducts, bioproduct manufacturers and distributors will be able to expand and could create additional job opportunities – not only in the agriculture industry but also in other Ohio business sectors;
- Environmental aspect — The increased purchase of bioproducts is expected to Reduce consumption of imported petroleum, increase the use of renewable resources and reduce adverse environmental and health impacts
In Ohio, 2010 was a near record-setting soybean harvest. Statewide, the United States Department of Agriculture reported a soybean harvest of 4.5 million acres and an average yield of 48 bushels per acre, or more than 220 million bushels. Nationally, the industrial use of soybean oil for purposes other than biodiesel production was expected to be between 1.15 billion and 1.35 billion pounds.
“The research and development of new products and materials made from soybeans is a priority for the Ohio Soybean Council,” said Kirk Merritt, executive director, Ohio Soybean Council. “Because of ongoing efforts to reduce our reliance on imported petroleum, the world is seeking environmentally friendly, renewable resources – and soybeans are a viable solution.”
Last year, the Ohio Soybean Council launched a consumer-friendly, interactive website www.soyinside.org that allows visitors to easily find soy-based bioproducts that can be incorporated into their homes and offices. Consumers can locate items such as soy-based paints and stains from Sherwin-Williams, La-Z-Boy recliners and furniture made with soy foam and environmentally friendly household cleaners.
Nutek, a Hoover Family Company in Cleveland, features a number of soy-based multipurpose lubricants and cleaners that are safe to use around food, children and pets for cleaning, removing nuts and bolts and protecting surfaces from friction in aerosol spray cans and wipes. The soybean oil used in these products comes exclusively from Ohio soybean farmers throughout the state.
“As Nutek continues to grow, the company’s use of soybean oil will increase accordingly,” said Cathy Horton, director of chemical solutions, Nutek. “Currently, we’re producing about 3 million 8-ounce cans a year. That’s a lot of soybeans.”
As industries seek more renewable resources there will be increased percentages of soybeans used in new products. These values generated by bioproducts will not only benefit farmers, but will also support local economies, emerging technologies and new businesses.
For more information and to locate soy bioproducts, visit www.soyinside.org.
Headquartered in Worthington, the Ohio Soybean Council is governed by a volunteer farmer board, which directs the Soybean Promotion and Research Program. The program’s primary goal is to improve soybean profitability by targeting research and development projects using the investment of farmer-contributed funds.