Getting the most out of soybeans
Soybeans are one of the largest commodity crops in the world.
They also are starting to play a major role in reducing society’s carbon footprint, providing improved environmental performance, and replacing finite, nonrenewable resources such as oil.
MSU’s Ramani Narayan is taking the versatile legume and turning it into a variety of bio-based products, including paper coatings, adhesives, and rubber products for use in tires and other automobile parts.
A University Distinguished Professor of chemical engineering and materials science, Narayan and his team worked with Michigan-based food processor Zeeland Farm Services to develop ways of using all of the soybean, including the meal, oil, and hull in new and profitable ways.
“We’ve developed a technology to convert the soybean oil into materials that can be used for plastic products, urethane foams used in insulation, and in the automotive and furniture industries, and materials for use in the cosmetic and nutritional supplements industries,” Narayan says.
Narayan works closely with Zeeland Farm Services, a family-owned business that processes about 25,000 bushels of soybeans per day grown by 2,500 Michigan farmers.Learn more about how MSU is getting the most out of soybeans.