Universities, Schools Leading the Way on Biobased

Sustainability strategies include biobased products

Soy-based air filter & odor-reducing toilet spray top student innovation competition

Indiana Soybean Alliance Chairman Tom Griffiths of Kendallville, Ind. congratulates the FiltraSoy team on their winning product in the Purdue Student Soybean Innovation Competition. The team won $20,000 for their soy-based HVAC air filter. From left, Griffiths; Andrew Huang of Maryland; Anderson Smith of Fort Wayne; Samaneh Saadat of Iran and Sushant Mehan of India.Purdue University

A soy-based air filter for use in residential and commercial applications is the winner of this year’s Student Soybean Product Innovation Competition at Purdue University. Finding innovative new uses for soybeans that meet a market need and ultimately increase demand for soybeans is the reason Indiana Soybean Alliance has funded the competition since 1994. Team FiltraSoy met that goal with their winning product.

Preliminary testing of the soy-based HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) filter shows that it has the potential to be roughly 15 percent more effective than current high-efficiency HVAC filters already on the market while also being low-cost and environmentally friendly. The FiltraSoy team also implemented a novel use of cold plasma technology to charge the filter which makes it significantly more effective than the current high end technology being used in the marketplace today.

Learn more.

Researchers develop safer, more effective molecule with potential for numerous applications

CBN member Kristeen Joseph’s research is focused on developing a biobased surfactant molecule.  Joseph earned her Bachelors Degree in Chemical Engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai (India) in 2013. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the University of Minnesota.University of Minnesota

CBN member and University of Minnesota Ph.D. candidate Kristeen Joseph is pursuing her dream of developing biobased alternatives that are safer, more effective, and potentially less expensive than traditional petroleum-based materials.

Joseph is part of a team, led by Paul Dauenhauer, a University of Minnesota associate professor of chemical engineering and materials science, which has developed a biobased molecule -- known as an Oleo-Furan-Surfactant (OFS).  This new surfactant molecule can replace synthetic, petroleum-based molecules (benzene, which is classified by EPA as a known human carcinogen*) that are used in a wide-range of everyday products.  Some of these petroleum-based molecules have already been phased out in Europe.

“The OFS molecule is showing great promise in cleaning applications and has the potential to be used in paints, personal care products and more,” Joseph said.  “It’s exciting to see all the possible uses for this biobased alternative.”

Learn more.

Soy Pods for Laundry Detergent

Pictured left to right:  Purdue students Andrew Cameron, a chemical engineering junior from Maple Grove, Minnesota and Harshit Kapoor, a civil engineering junior from Kolkata, India, and Ed Ebert, Senior Director, Production & Utilization Indiana Soybean Alliance.CBN members and current Purdue University students Harshit Kapoor and Andrew Cameron participated in USB’s 2016 Biobased Stakeholders’ Dialogue in Washington, DC on July 7, 2016.  They spoke with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack about “Soy Pods” – their soy-based laundry detergent pods. The students earned third place in the 2016 Student Soybean Product Innovation Competition sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Alliance.

Listen to their interview.

In addition, the students presented their “Soy Pods” concept during an “Innovation Tank” session where they received feedback from Seventh Generation Inc. Director of Sustainability Martin H. Wolf and Textile Management Associates Director of Sales Alan Snipes, to help guide them on the path to commercial success.

Watch a video of the "Innovation Tank" session.

Cameron also participated in a CBN webinar where he received additional feedback on his idea from Cynthia Flanigan, PhD, the Manager of the Design and Final Assembly Systems Department in the Materials & Manufacturing organization within Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. Her technical work on developing biomaterials led to soy-biobased polyurethane foam on seating for all Ford vehicles built within North America.

Soy Battles Oil Spills

Virginia Commonwealth University

Dr. Ram Gupta and his team developed a formulation derived from a natural surfactant, soybean lecithin, to clean up oil spills.


6.5-Million-Gallon-Water Savings


UCLA scored big when it replaced the intramural field's grass with soy-based backing artificial turf. In water-starved California, this is a major victory.



Inspired, 2 Biobased Buildings

Carnegie Mellon School of Design

A CMU alumni crafted a design solution featuring American hardwood plywood shelves and boxes made with a well-proven soy-based assembly technology which replaced formaldehyde-based glues.



2015 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award

Loyola University (Chicago)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has honored Loyola University’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability (Chicago) as one of its 2015 Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners.



Parking Lot Paint

New Jersey's Medford Township Public Schools

Soy-biobased parking lot paint is the latest biobased product helping New Jersey’s Medford Township Public School system shrink its environmental footprint.



Biobased hydraulic elevator fluid

Penn State University

"Soy-based hydraulic fluid dramatically reduces our exposure to remediation costs if we should ever have a leak or spill in one of our more than 100 hydraulic elevators."



Parlez Vous Soy Biobased?

Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University (ASU) student fingerprints literally and figuratively cover every aspect of their student-designed-and-built as well as “reimagined” row house.  To reduce their environmental footprint, the students chose soy-biobased products.