To bring together researchers developing new uses for soy in areas such as coatings and solvents, the United Soybean Board (USB) hosts an annual series of collaborative meetings. These gatherings, referred to as Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) meetings, assemble researchers from universities, large companies and start-up businesses to present their work in new uses for soy, including problems encountered, successes found and future plans.
By dividing the meetings up by industry – coatings/inks/solvents, fibers,
adhesives, and plastics – the researchers discuss their findings with people
working on similar projects. Each meeting takes place over a two-day period and
is broken down into presentations by several researchers and more informal
networking opportunities where attendees can seek advice and input from each
John Schierlmann, technology manager of
Rust-Oleum/Zinsser Wood Care, has attended the coatings, inks and solvents TAP
for the past four years. He says these meetings give him an opportunity to exchange information and meet other technical
professionals who work with soy in similar capacities. Bob Borden, professor of
civil, construction and environmental engineering at North Carolina State
University, would agree, and points out that the connections he made at past
TAP meetings eventually led to joint ventures in soy research.
The most recent coatings, inks and solvents TAP meeting saw presentations from an
array of researchers mostly focused on providing more environmentally friendly
products at a cost that is agreeable to the end user.
Most TAP meetings open with a brief presentation on USB and U.S. soybean. This
is often followed by a market opportunity study of a particular industry. For
example, the market opportunity study for coatings, inks and solvents showed
the potential for soy in these areas as legislative bodies push for more green
options and petrochemical raw material costs increase. The recent TAP meeting
also addressed commercialization strategies focusing on involving the supply
chain and using the sustainability of soy as a key factor.
The meeting’s first day included a presentation on anaerobic bioremediation
with soy by North Carolina’s Borden and Randy Frees and Paul Coty of Soy
Technologies discussing the soy-based cleaning products and coatings additives
offered by the company. On the following day, Victor Arredondo of Proctor &
Gamble and Neal Rogers from Cook Composites and Polymers presented work on
sucrose polyester alkyds. This discussion provided another option for green,
low-VOC coatings. Soy acrylics for water-based products was presented by
Schierlmann. “Attendees benefit from learning about all the new technologies
people are using for soy-based products,” adds Schierlmann.
For more information on upcoming TAP meetings, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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