Saturday, September 1, 2007

Soybean in Sofas!

Soybean foam crops up in sofas
By: Stacy Downs
McClatchy Newspapers
Aug. 25, 2007 12:00 AM

""The hottest trend in furniture is hidden in the seat cushions.

Soybean-based foam is cropping up in sofas and chairs. The new product reduces the amount of petroleum used in polyurethane foam, the core material in cushions. The innovation comes at a time of rising concern over petroleum prices and the availability of raw materials...""

""The new type of foam was born after Cargill, the agricultural products giant in Minnesota, and the Kansas Polymer Research Center developed the product BiOH, a soybean oil.

For every 1 million pounds of BiOH polyols that replace petroleum polyols in flexible foams, 2,200 barrels of crude oil are saved.

Manufacturing soy-based polyol requires 61 percent less non-renewable energy, and soy polyol produces 36 percent less emissions...

The first generation of Preserve foam uses 10 to 20 percent soy product, about 1 to 2 pounds of soy in a standard-size sofa. Foam made with larger amounts of soy emitted an odor, said Bobby Bush, Hickory Springs' vice president of foam and environmental technology.

'It smelled like burnt popcorn,' Bush said. 'Some people thought it smelled like burnt motor oil.'""

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