Researchers report on integrated soybean biorefinery

August 27, 2012 |

In Pennsylvania, researchers reported at the 244th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society that a new integrated soybean biorefinery can use well-established chemical processes to transform other components in soybeans into an array of valuable materials. Proteins in soybean meal, for instance, can be processed into ingredients used to make a variety of polyurethanes, including rigid foam insulation, flexible foams for packaging, as well as coatings, adhesives and elastomers.

The soybean meal can further be processed to yield critical components used in polyester plastics for fabrics, ropes, car tires, plastic bottles and LCD screens; Nylon and Kevlar for bulletproof vests; and fire-resistant Nomex. The triglycerides found in soybean oil can be processed to manufacture adhesives, sealants, paints, plastic for toys and clothing, along with a host of other products that can be derived from soybeans.

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