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Soybeans making production processes less expensive

June 3, 2010 – Soybeans are helping to make industrial epoxy resins used in construction, automotive and furniture production hardier, greener and less expensive.


November 30, 1999
By Agricultural Adaptation Council

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June 3, 2010 – Soybeans are helping to make industrial epoxy resins used in construction, automotive and furniture production hardier, greener and less expensive.

Researchers at the University of Guelph are working on a new soy-oil based bio-resin that, when mixed with soy stalks and soybean meal, can create new biodegradable “green composites”. Traditional epoxy resins used in composite products are petroleum-based and can be brittle. Epoxidized soybean oil – a stabilizer made from soybeans – is a lower cost, renewable material that can be used as an additive to enhance the toughness of conventional epoxy resins.

Not only is this good news for the environment, it may also provide farmers a market for their soybean stalks.

“The development of these new biodegradable soy-based composites will provide an alternative to petroleum-based products that come from a renewable source,” says Kim Turnbull, a soybean grower and past Chair of the Agricultural Adaptation Council. “As well, this new generation of industrial products will bring farmers new market opportunities for soybean byproducts.”

The green composites can be used in the production of auto parts, packaging, building products (floor coverings, kitchen and bathroom sinks, shower bases, roof tiles and exterior door panel structure foam) and electronic components like enclosures and insulating panels.

Grain Farmers of Ontario invested $15,780 in the project, which also received $14,221 from the Ontario Research and Development program. The goal of this $2.5 million program, established by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and delivered by the Agricultural Adaptation Council, is to promote the long-term viability and competitiveness of Ontario agriculture by investing in research and development projects.

The Agricultural Adaptation Council is a non-profit, grassroots coalition of 68 agricultural, agribusiness and rural organizations dedicated to providing financial resources to help Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food industry remain profitable, grow and maintain its economic strength.

For more information, contact:
Laura McDonald, Acting Communications Manager
Agricultural Adaptation Council
519-822-7554
lmcdonald@adaptcouncil.org