Innovation

From Field To Factory

Demand For Sustainable Soybean Oil Keeps On Growing.    

Is there soy in your family room? Your tractor? Your toolbox? Maybe even in your shampoo? You could be using soybean oil and not even know it. An increasing number of product manufacturers do.

More than one-third of U.S. soybean oil goes into products, including biodiesel, made with soy technology developed with checkoff support.

The number of brand-name products continues to grow each year as manufacturers use soy to drive corporate sustainability efforts, reduce their dependency on petroleum and create better-performing products that are more environmentally friendly.

Driving sustainability

“We are committed to accelerating sustainable mobility solutions as part of Bridgestone’s “Our Way to Serve” corporate social responsibility program,” says Tom Rodgers, executive director, Bridgestone Agricultural Solutions. “Our objective is to engineer high-performing products in the most responsible and sustainable way. Producing ag tires that incorporate soybean oil is a natural fit.” In 2014, the company started using soybean oil in all of the ag tires produced in its Des Moines, Iowa, plant.

Last year, Bridgestone used 380,000 pounds of soybean oil in Firestone ag tires. The company continues to research ways to incorporate even more at the Bridgestone Americas Technical Center in Akron, Ohio.

“Advances in soy technology and the availability of industrial-grade high oleic soybean oil is helping us build more performance improvements into our tires,” says Amy Randall, Bridgestone manager of innovation and technology. “Our research is definitely not a ‘one and done’ thing. That’s because discoveries we make not only benefit us, they also increase industrial demand for soybean oil, which is good for farmers.”

Expanding markets for soy ingredients

In their 2016 Sustainability Report, IKEA noted, “Traditional mattress foam is made of petroleum-based, non-renewable resources, and we are working to change this.” In 2015, the company started using a foam made of 15 percent soybean oil and says they have now increased content to 30 percent in some foam types.

International manufacturers like IKEA also appreciate the sustainable farming practices of U.S. soybean farmers and the traceability of ingredients that enable them to quantify the sustainability of material they produce.

To discover more surprising new uses that are growing demand for U.S. soybean oil, visit SoyNewUses.org.

Deb Dugan
Deb Dugan

Ag Communicator

Saint Louis, MIssouri