- The U.S. produces
38% of the world’s soybean supply. Almost
all U.S. soybeans are used overseas.
- Today, farmers in more than
states grow soybeans.
- By 2025, America’s farms, forests and ranches will
provide 25% of the total
energy consumed in the United States while
continuing to produce safe, abundant, and affordable food,
feed, and fiber.
Kenaf , a fast-growing, drought-resistant relative of
the hibiscus is capable of growing 14 feet in seven months.
The outer "bast" fibers of the kenaf plant are an ideal
substitute for fiberglass in the production of reinforced
plastics. Kenaf fiber combined with various polymers can
produce stronger, lighter, and safer components such as
non-woven mats and panels for the automobile industry.
- If every farmer and rancher used a B2 blend of soy
biodiesel, we could use over
48 million bushels of soybeans a year.
One acre of corn can produce enough ethanol to run
an average car for 72,000 miles on E-10 unleaded. For every
barrel of ethanol produced, 1.2 barrels of petroleum are
displaced. By 2010, U.S. ethanol production could displace
the equivalent of 311,000 barrels of imported oil per day,
or more than one large oil tanker per week.
- Increased use of renewable fuels
such as ethanol could provide an additional $6.6 billion of
net income annually for America’s farmers over the next 15
- One bushel of corn can produce 32
pounds of starch, 33 pounds of sweeter, or 2.7 gallons of
ethanol, as well as 1.5 pounds of corn oil.
- Although China is the world’s fourth largest producer of
soybeans, increased consumption has made them
the world’s leading soybean importer.
- The Chinese aquaculture industry
used no soy a decade ago but today uses over 150 million
bushels of soybeans annually.
- By some estimates, if the
United States were to triple its use of biobased products by
2010, farmers and rural communities could realize some
$20 billion in new income each year from 50,000 new
high-tech jobs in small processing plants across rural
America, and up to 130,000 jobs in the biopower and biofuels
(i.e., ethanol and biodiesel) industries.
- The breakthrough in low-linolenic soybean oil will
benefit the food industry and consumers, and could add an
$100 million per year (doc) to the value of soybean
- Soybeans and soybean products are the United States’
largest export commodity, generating nearly
nearly $7 billion a year (PDF) for our nation’s economy.
- A typical
40 million gallon ethanol plant creates 32 full-time
jobs and generates an additional $1.2 million in tax revenue
for a community.
Electroactive polymers—plastics that expand or contract
when stimulated by electricity—can now be made from plants
rather than petrochemicals, according to Agricultural
Research Service (ARS) scientists in Peoria, Ill. There is
now significant interest in the possible use of
electro-active polymers in many industrial and biomedical
applications, from light-emitting diodes and
controlled-release devices to artificial muscles and
environmental sensors. The material is typically
petroleum-based, but ARS researchers Victoria Finkenstadt
and J.L. Willett have shown that plant polysaccharides such
as starch can work just as well.
- A recent study by Argonne National Laboratory states
cellulosic ethanol reduces greenhouse gases by 85%.
- If you harvested the waste from
a city of one million people (PDF), you could make
enough ethanol for 56,000 Americans, 360,000 Frenchmen, or
- Many marinas are now
offering soy biodiesel (PDF) as a cleaner-burning
alternative that is easier on the marine environment.
- Ethanol reduces
carbon monoxide emissions by as much as 30%.
- Juniper is a plant species that runs rampant in the
Southwest, making it not only a fire hazard, but also
causing it to choke off other native species. However, the
chemical makeup of juniper
makes it particularly adept for use in water filters.
Juniper is being used in Ohio's Wayne National Forest (home
to a large number of abandoned mines) to clean heavy metals
from acid mine run-off. According to Roger Rowell of the
USDA Forest Service, the filters have been about 80%
effective in removing heavy metals. Elsewhere, New York's
Catskill Mountains are home to a number of dairy farms that
produce phosphates as byproducts. The wash from the farms
flows downstream into New York City’s watershed, the
drinking water source for over 60 million people. "The
chemical make-up of the filters from the Wayne National
Forest after they've removed heavy metals makes them
excellent at removing phosphates from streams leaving the
Catskills,” says Rowell. “So rather than disposing of the
filters after they've done their job at Wayne, we can get
even more mileage out of them by using them in New York.”
Brookhaven National Laboratory (PDF) has concluded that
spills and the resulting use of clean-up materials decreased
over 70% after switching to biobased from petroleum
- The manufacture of circuit boards made of an
epoxy-fiberglass composite is currently petroleum based and
highly energy intensive, placing a strain on the
environment. USDA grant dollars are aimed at replacing the
epoxy with a
biodegradable soybean oil resin
fiberglass with chicken feathers, substituting sustainable
materials for petroleum-based products.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (PDF) has approved
the claim that 25 grams of soy protein a day, as part of a
diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the
risk of heart disease.
- The maintenance department for the
Coast Guard Group
Atlantic City, N.J., Air Station keeps its equipment running
with a hydraulic fuel whose raw material was plucked from
soybean farms. Groundskeepers at the station use biobased
products such as bar and chain oil, penetrating lubricant,
and 10W30 oil on their aircraft, products that are safer to
use and environmentally friendly.
- The USDA uses a wide assortment of biobased products at
their headquarters complex (PDF). A biodegradable,
non-acidic, and non-caustic soy-based cleaner clears drains
and cuts grease. Other USDA facilities are using biobased
products such as non-ammoniated glass cleaner, organic-acid
restroom cleaner, low-odor floor stripper, and zinc-free
floor finish—all environmentally friendly and healthier for
the workers who use them.
- Workers at the
Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma (PDF) are
using Soygel, a biobased paint remover on a project.
U.S. Postal Service (PDF) employees are using a biobased
mastic remover without a respirator because it is
biodegradable, contains no volatile organic compounds, has a
mild odor, and is user friendly. · Workers at the
U.S. Geological Survey (PDF) are using soy ink because it is
safer for employees to handle and easier to dispose of
environmentally. They also found that soy ink makes printing
more efficient because it lasts longer and reduces down time
because of fewer wash-ups.
The Statue of Liberty Liberty uses
soy-based hydraulic fluid for its elevators, thus reducing
- Under the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
“Green Ship Initiative” (PDF), all research vessels operate
exclusively on B100 and biobased oils and lubricants.
Yellowstone National Park
(PDF) has switched from using
more than 130 different cleaning products to approximately
15 biobased products. These products save money and time
while protecting the employees and the environment.
Seymour Johnson Air Force Base
(PDF) is using soy-based
detergent that has a neutral ph and is low in phosphates for
floor scrubbers to better protect the environment and
- When U.S. Navy submarines come to
Shipyard (PDF) for renovation, they get overhauled inside
and out down to the smallest detail. Paint crews rely on a biobased product to remove both paint and adhesive on doors
and hundreds of other areas on the subs. One advantage of
biobased products is that they can be used and stored almost
anywhere on the ship, including confined areas, because of
their low risk to health and the environment.
DOE’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PDF) now uses
vegetable-based instead of petroleum-based hydraulic fluid,
resulting in significant savings and environmental benefits.
- Employees of
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore are using
a vegetable oil-based chainsaw bar oil that reduces the
amount of petroleum directly released into the environment.
They are also switching to a vegetable oil parts washer
fluid for a safer, less flammable alternative to
- Some state prison facility managers are using
vegetable-based degreasers instead of petroleum solvents to
clean the lock units of inmates’ cells. The vegetable-based
degreaser is safer, easier to work with, and environmentally
The Naval Air Depot at Cherry Point, NC (PDF) uses seed
oil, including canola, sunflower, and soybean oil, for
machine applications in place of petroleum or
petroleum-derived compounds considered hazardous due to
possible carcinogens. The Depot also prototyped a straight
oil containing seed oil that is biodegradable and
Mount Rainer National Park uses biobased hydraulic oils
throughout the park. Hydraulic oils save energy and are
easier to clean.
- Some Navy installations are using
ag fiberboard to build
floors, cabinets, and furniture. Fiberboard made from
pressed wheat straw has excellent machining qualities and a
superior laminating surface. It also provides improved air
quality and working conditions.
Fort Custer National Cemetery (PDF) in Michigan is using biobased fluids in its equipment. Operators report smoother
performance, better idling, and a small reduction in soot
Idaho National Laboratory
(PDF) is using a variety of biobased products, including a metal cleaner that keeps bus
wheels sparkling while significantly reducing the amount of
harsher abrasives used to remove corrosion. Drivers claim
that reduced amounts of biobased glass and surface cleaners
work better than previous products, while mechanics say that
the biobased penetrating lubricants they use work in a few
hours compared to conventional products that take overnight.
- Auto shop employees at
Los Alamos National Laboratory
(PDF) greatly reduced the amount of waste oil-contaminated
soil they generated using a soil bioremediation approach. An
oil-digesting bacteria product called Oil-Sponge was added
to the soil, which was then mixed with water and a nutrient
solution called Micro-Blaze.
- Carpets in conference rooms at
National Laboratory (PDF) are made with biobased soy
backing. Also, by using biobased cleaning products, the lab
reduces its inventory of chemical and cleaning products from
33 to 7.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
soy-based carpet backing in their offices in 2002.
The Department of the Navy (PDF) reports successfully
using biobased paint stripper and a biobased metal working
fluid called “Pan Terra MMEP” for lubricating and cooling
Carpet backing made from soy oil (PDF) has been used in
the new headquarters of the U.S. Patent and Trademark
The Agricultural Research Service
(PDF) located in El
Reno, Oklahoma uses biobased hydraulic tractor fluid, floor
and tile cleaner, heavy duty hand cleaner, and two-cycle
- The Department of Interior main building (PDF) uses biobased products such as cafeteria foodservice ware,
general-purpose cleaners, and hydraulic fluid in security
Yellowstone National Park (PDF) uses biobased products
such as hydraulic fluids, lubricants, and cleaners. The
Department of Energy’s headquarters (PDF) uses biobased
window cleaners. Biobased foam insulation and roofing
sealant are being used in the DOE’s Weatherization
- The Government Printing Office (PDF) uses soy ink for
printing government documents.
- The concessionaire at the
Denali National Park and
Preserve in Alaska is using bamboo as flooring; a locally
grown and harvested spruce was used for exterior and
interior wood finishes.
Rock Creek National Park (PDF) operates weed eaters that
use biobased two-cycle engine oil.
Xanterra Parks and Resorts (PDF) in Yellowstone National
Park has used 100% soy-based inks for all of its printing
for the past 5 years.
Brookhaven National Laboratory (PDF) uses biobased
hydraulic oil for vehicle lifts; two new on-site buildings
at Brookhaven will be using biobased hydraulic oil for their
Olympic National Park (PDF) uses a soy-based hydraulic
fluid in more than 1/3 of their 100 vehicles. It also uses biobased two-cycle engine and bar and chain oils for its
chainsaws and weed eaters.
soy-based hydraulic fluid
at Los Alamos National
Laboratories is made primarily from renewable soybean
extracts and is less toxic to humans and animals than
petroleum-based hydraulic fluid. It also degrades more
quickly than petroleum-based hydraulic fluid, which is
important in case a forklift suffers a minor leak from its
Shenandoah National Park (PDF) in Virginia uses biobased
hydraulic fluid in some of its trash collecting trucks.
- Since 2005,
the Defense Logistics Agency has bought biobased items for packaging, hand cleaners, adhesive
removers, metalworking fluids, cutlery, and fireman’s
- The U.S. Marine Corps now uses over
one million gallons
of biodiesel (PDF) a year across the country; Air Force
installations use over 4 million gallons of biodiesel a
Greenview High School in Illinois recently applied a new
soy-based roofing material. The soy-based roof replaced a
traditional black asphalt roof with a white roof that
reflects heat, helping the building use less
- A biobased lubricant is used by the
Institute (PDF) in its electrical transformers.
- BMW Group’s Designworks USA developed the
a concept car with biodegradable body panels infused with
palm tree seeds. When the vehicle’s lifespan is up, the
buried body panels spring into trees, which help clean the
air of toxins.
- Ford’s new car, the
Model U, uses rubber tires made from
corn-based fillers. The tires offer lower rolling resistance
and lower weight, leading to improved fuel economy and
improved traction on wet pavement. The Model U uses soy
components reinforced with fiberglass to make the car’s
- Plant resources, mostly for paper products and chemical
feedstocks, now provide about
5% of manufacturing inputs
- The current production of biobased textile fibers,
polymers, adhesives, lubricants, soy-based inks, and other
products is estimated at
12.4 billion pounds per year
K V Pharmaceuticals
(PDF) in St. Louis used soybean oil
polymer-based for roof repairs to reduce HVAC energy
consumption by 20-30 % while also reducing maintenance
and Tate & Lyle scientists have developed a new
method for using corn to produce propanediol (PDO). The new
product, Bio-PDO(TM), is a key ingredient in the production
of DuPont’s Sorona(R), a new polymer for clothing,
carpeting, plastics, personal care and liquid detergent
products, de-icing fluids, antifreeze, and heat transfer
fluids.. The production of
Bio-PDO(TM) consumes 30-40% less energy than petroleum-based
PDO. They plan to produce 100 million pounds of
Bio-PDO per year, saving the energy equivalent of 10 million
gallons of gasoline.
Japan's Fujitsu Ltd, Fujitsu Laboratories,
Ltd., and Toray Industries Inc. jointly developed a large
computer case made of bioplastics, featured in Fujitsu's
spring 2005 notebook computers, the first time that
bioplastics from cornstarch were used in computer parts. The
new technology reduces by about one liter the petroleum used
to produce a notebook computer.
Fujitsu Ltd. and Fujitsu Laboratories have announced
development of a new high bio-content polymer from castor
oil for the manufacture of small components in notebook PCs
and mobile phones, such as connector covers. The biobased
polymer features superior flexibility that can withstand
Agriboard Industries (PDF) develops green building
systems from compressed rice and wheat straw, including a
structural insulated panel made by compressing wheat fiber.
The advantages of using Agriboard in construction include
low labor costs, with construction times reduced as much as
75% percent. The product also uses less electricity and
produces fewer emissions. Agriboard panels were used in
construction of a water treatment house in Fort Hood, Texas.
South Dakota Soybean Processors (PDF), a farmer-owned
cooperative, is partnering with Urethane Soy Systems to
produce a biobased chemical feedstock for making products
such as carpet backing and foam insulation.
A St. Louis-area electric company
switched to a
soy-based transformer fluid that is less flammable and
extends transformer life.
Blue and Gold Fleet (PDF) Marine Operations in
California uses soy-based inks to print approximately 1
million items a year.
- A new soy-based toner for printers, copiers, and fax
machines has been developed by the
Ohio Soybean Council and
Battelle (PDF), a Columbus-based research and development
technology leader. This soy-based toner is more readily de-inkable
than petroleum-based toners and will result in cleaner,
- The use of polylactic acid (PLA) continues to rise, with
more companies creating environmentally friendly products
using this corn-based polymer. Homemaker Industries of Cary,
Illinois is testing 100% PLA rugs, which it hopes to bring
to market by 2008. The rugs are made with Ingeo, a fiber
produced from PLA by NatureWorks. The PLA replaces
polypropylene, a petroleum-based compound many rugs are made
from. “When 100% PLA rugs hit the market, for every 5 feet
by 8 feet PLA rug made, one-third of a gallon of oil will be
displaced,” said Jeffry Vaughn, Homemaker senior vice
president of sales and new business development.
Argonne Child Development Center used soy-based
products for wall paint, carpeting, and particleboard in the
construction of their building.
Blair Towns, a multi-family building in Silver Spring,
MD, used biobased products in paints, sealants, adhesives,
and carpet systems during construction.
90% of American newspapers use soy ink (PDF)
A tire company
has produced a new line of tires that
uses micro-droplets of cornstarch as an ingredient to reduce
tire weight and rolling resistance.
- According to estimates from Green Seal,
pounds of foam polystyrene hinged containers are used in the
U.S. food packaging industry each year, and each American
throws away an average of 100 polystyrene cups annually.
These and other formerly petroleum-based plastic items are
now available as biodegradable biobased products made from
corn, sugar cane, and potatoes.
- Biobased and environmentally safe
soy-based spray foam
insulation is now available in the marketplace. Insulation
is installed in liquid form and expands to more than 100
times its original size within seconds. Soy-based spray foam
insulation provides an estimated savings of 30-50 percent on
energy efficiency costs.
(PDF) are compostable within 45-60
days, whereas plastic forks and spoons may take over 500
years to degrade.
A corn-based plastic (PDF) made at a Cargill plant in
Blair, Nebraska, was turned into the dinnerware and cutlery
used at the Salt Lake City Olympics.
- Sports fans at the
Minnesota Target Center
Timberwolves and Lynx basketball games buy beverages served
in clear plastic cups that come from corn rather than
petroleum. The Wolves were the first major professional
sports team to make the switch over to renewable-based goods
for their concessions. Minnetonka-based Nature Works, LLC
says that the material requires less than half the volume of
petroleum to make compared to plastic, even accounting for
the energy used to plant, fertilize and harvest the
- An application of
soy-based spray foam insulation
to an average 2500 square foot home uses the oil from
approximately 15 bushels of soybeans.
- Not only is soybean oil the world’s leading vegetable
oil, it is also the most frequently consumed oil in the
U.S., accounting for nearly
80% of our total vegetable oil
- The rising price of petroleum and increasing concerns
about the environmental impact of chemical cleaners and
strippers has sparked interest in biobased solvents. Derived
from soybean oil,
methyl soyate is the key ingredient in an
eco-friendly mix. This low-cost, readily biodegradable
alternative could replace some of the 460 million pounds of
traditional chlorinated and petroleum solvents.
Traditional golf tees are made of wood but now new
technology has been developed to fabricate them from
cornstarch. U.S. golfers alone use an estimated 2 billion
golf tees each year. Unlike their wooden counterparts, which
take about 3 years to degrade into the soil, corn-based golf
tees begin degrading in only 20 days, and will completely
degrade in about a year.
- Industrial biotechnology is beginning to transform the
fashion industry through
biodegradable fabrics for
ready-to-wear clothing and designer gowns spun from polylactide (PLA), a compostable biopolymer made from
dextrose corn sugar.
Soy insulation provides characteristics in 4-inch stud
walls that equal or better traditional insulation in 6-inch
- Biosolids from manure produce mulch that can be used as
bedding for cows and is cheaper than sawdust.
- A product called
soysilk, made from the residual
compounds of soybeans following tofu manufacturing, is
quickly becoming a yarn of choice. It’s being used for
clothing and for a cuddly new toy called “Tofu Bear.”
· Compared to fiberglass, soy-based foam board
stock insulation increases air quality indoors, has no loose
fibers, and does not sustain mold growth.
soy candles burn, they don’t get as hot as paraffin
candles, they burn cleaner, they burn longer, and their
fragrance spreads faster.
Yellowstone National Park (PDF)
sells soy-based candles in its gift shops.
- Crayons made from soybean oil
have better color and
don’t rub off like other crayons. Just one bushel of
soybeans can make more than 2,000 crayons.
- Paints and tough coatings made from
for the environment, safe enough for food packages, and cost
less than typical paints and coatings.
- A product called “Soapstock” made from soybean parts
forms an environmentally safe coating that protects roads
and helps control dust on gravel roads.
- Unlike other solvents,
soy solvents can be cleaned with
water, making them better for the environment.
- Paper printed with
is easier to recycle and
comes out cleaner and brighter.
simple replacement of mineral oil with biodegradable
soybean oil (PDF) results in less damage to the environment.
Soy-based engine oil does not readily boil off and
resists heat degradation. Additionally, compared to
petroleum-based oil, soy-based engine oil significantly
reduces hazardous air emissions.
Vertec Bio Gold (PDF), a biobased product made with corn
and soybeans, is 70% more effective than similar cleaners
and exhibits less volatile emissions. The product has been
successfully demonstrated as a paint-line cleaner at several
Air Force depots.
Avant (PDF), a corn-based hand cleaner, kills 99.99% of
germs within 15 seconds.
(sugarcane pulp), a byproduct from sugar mills,
is an alternative to tree fiber for various types of paper
Biobag (PDF) is a cornstarch-based bag with soy-based
ink labeling that keeps contents fresh and is fully
(PDF), a product made from limestone, potato,
and cornstarch, is used to make biobased plates and bowls.
Envirostrip (PDF) a moisture-resistant, biobased
abrasive media composed of acrylic-cornstarch copolymers, is
currently being used at the Aircraft Repair & Supply Center
in Elizabeth City, NC.
BioBased 501, manufactured by BioBased Systems, is a
one-step spray insulation that provides a sealed thermal
envelope, preventing outside air infiltration, the major
cause of energy loss in homes. In 2003, BioBased 501 was
voted the “Outstanding Green Product of the Year” at the
National Association of Home Builders National Green
Building Conference and was selected among the "2003 Top 10
Green Products" at the U.S. Green Building Council's Green
Biobased 1701 is the first water-blown, closed-cell
spray foam to be introduced since spray polyurethane
technology first emerged in the mid 70’s. Before 1701,
closed-cell spray foams were primarily petroleum-based, and
most relied on CFC (chlorofluorocarbons) or HCFC (hydrochlorofluorocarbons)
blowing agents. A typical 2,500 sq ft home insulated with
BioBased 1701 will use about two acres of soybeans and
eliminate the use of over 700 lbs of petroleum derivatives,
while reducing energy consumption 30-50% annually for the
life of the home.
- When Americans turn on air conditioners, fans, and
televisions today, the transformers that help electricity
flow freely to their homes may have been cooled by a
soy-based transformer fluid. Envirotemp FR3 provides a
renewable, cost-effective, and safe alternative to
petroleum-based mineral oils for rural and municipal
electric cooperatives. The soy-based fluid has been shown to
enhance the loading performance of new transformers by up to
14% or extend their insulation life five to eight times. It
also has a similarly positive impact on larger units already
in service, such as those found in electric substations.
- U.S. ethanol production hit a record
gallons in 2006, nearly double the 2000 production.
- There are some
6 million “flexible fuel” vehicles on
America’s highways that can run on up to 85% ethanol (E85).
Engage. Educate. Embed.
Last updated: 8/9/2013