A new soy-oil based bio-resin being developed at the University of Guelph will create biodegradable “green composites” for use in the construction, automotive and furniture industries. Made from soybean by-products, the new bio-resin will be hardier, less expensive and more environmentally friendly than epoxy resins currently being used.
Researchers at the Guelph, Ont. university are creating epoxidized soybean oil, a stabilizer made from soybeans that can be used as an additive to enhance conventional epoxy resins. It’s a lower-cost, renewable alternative to petroleum-based epoxy resins used in composite products.
The new epoxy resin can be used in the production of auto parts, packaging, building products and electronic components. For farmers, the product offers a new market opportunity for soybean stalks.
The $2.5-million project was established by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and delivered by the Agricultural Adaptation Council. Funding for the project also came from the Grain Farmers of Ontario and the Ontario Research and Development program.