Air Force tests soy-based asphalt sealer on runways.

Capt. Dave Christensen, 95th Fighter Squadron Flight C commander, takes off in F-15C/D tail 072. Photo by Lisa Norman.

RePLAY, a soy-based asphalt sealer and preservation agent from BioSpan Technologies Inc., is being applied to runways at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. The product was developed with the help of funding from the United Soybean Board and soybean checkoff, which funds research and development of potential new uses for soy.

BioSpan reports that the 88% bio-based RePLAY sealer can achieve a “perpetual road” if applied in the first two years of the pavement’s life and re-applied every three to five years. According to BioSpan, RePLAY has proven to be superior to petrochemical products in such areas as traffic control, cure time and environmental impact.

“Most of the maintenance done on our highway system is reactionary maintenance after a problem exists,” says Mike Freisthler, a licensed distributor for BioSpan who installed the sealer at Tyndall last May. “Preserving or maintaining quality is easier than fixing something once it’s broken.”

RePLAY cures within 15-30 minutes and is not temperature-sensitive, thus it can be applied year-round. It penetrates up to an inch and a half into the pavement, introducing 15%-new polymers that repel moisture and strengthen and restore existing pavement, all without a significant impact on skid resistance.

RePLAY offers environmental benefits as well. A Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES) analysis conducted in March 2009 confirmed that the sealer has a negative global warming potential, meaning that it reduces hazardous CO2gases in the environment.

RePLAY, a soy-based asphalt sealer and preservation agent from BioSpan Technologies Inc., is being applied to Air Force base runways. Photo by Aschwin Prein.

“RePLAY also helps reduce the CO2burden on the runways and is CO2-negative,” says Sheldon Chesky, BioSpan president and CEO. “Airports are extremely environmentally sensitive because of jet fuels and vehicle exhausts, and the demand for electrical power and heating and cooling puts a tremendous stress on the environment.”

Freisthler says the cost of applying RePLAY is a fraction of the cost of laying new pavement on top of an existing surface.

“Pavement preservation has become an industry of its own in the past 10 years as petroleum costs have more than doubled and it appears prices will continue to rise,” he says. “RePLAY is usually 10% of the cost of reconstructive overlays. Its cost has been very competitive with - and sometimes even less than - petrochemical products.”

“Anything BioSpan can do to offset any airport’s budgetary burdens with eco-friendly treatments is a plus,” Chesky says. “RePLAY can be applied to more than runways, taxiways and aprons; it’s also meant for pedestrian walkways and parking lots.”

About the Soybean Checkoff

Like many commodities producers, soybean farmers collectively invest a portion of their end-of-season profits to fund research and promotion efforts. This collective investment is called a checkoff.

The soybean checkoff is supported entirely by soybean farmers with individual contributions of 0.5% of the market price per bushel sold each season. The efforts of the checkoff are directed by the United Soybean Board, composed of 68 volunteer farmer-leaders nominated by their state-level checkoff organizations, called Qualified State Soybean Boards (QSSBs). The nominees are appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

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For more information about RePLAY and other soy-based products from BioSpan Technologies, visit