Columns / Green Products/Applications


Soy flour adhesive helps reduce formaldehyde emissions.

Close-up of a green soybean pod from a Pioneer® brand soybean variety in Johnston, IA. Photo courtesy of DuPont.

Soy meal and soy flour are only beginning to penetrate the wood-composite-glue market.

A new soy-flour adhesive, developed with support from the soybean checkoff, may help reduce the emissions of a known carcinogen. SOYAD from H2H Innovations replaces urea formaldehyde in wood adhesives, making the product greener and healthier. In 2004, the International Agency for Cancer Research reclassified formaldehyde from a suspect carcinogen to a known carcinogen.

The adhesive was developed by leveraging soy-based adhesive technologies from Hercules Inc. and Heartland Resource Technologies, which formed H2H Innovations. The new company develops cost-competitive, formaldehyde-free resins for decorative plywood, wood flooring, particleboard and medium-density fiberboard markets. The joint venture will also offer technologies for oriented strand board manufacturers that allow traditional phenolic resins to be extended, resulting in lower-cost adhesives with reduced formaldehyde content.

“Reducing formaldehyde emissions is one of the major benefits of developing soy-based adhesives,” says Karen Fear, United Soybean Board New Uses vice chair and a soybean farmer from Montpelier, IN. “Soy adhesives don’t have an odor and are environmentally friendly.”

Soy meal and soy flour are just starting to penetrate the wood-composite glue market. For the particleboard and medium-density fiberboard markets, the greatest interest is having a formaldehyde-free resin to resolve the issue of formaldehyde emissions. This is needed to meet current and anticipated regulatory demands and green initiatives, such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Designs (LEED) Green Building Rating System.

SOYAD is a soy/phenolic co-resin used in exterior wood panel application, such as oriented strand board and softwood plywood.

Reprinted with permission from the United Soybean Board,

About United Soybean Board

USB is made up of 68 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff.

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