A Johnson Controls official told AutoblogGreen that only one of the company's 29 worldwide facilities will integrate soybean oil in the beginning. The bottom seat cushions will be made with a blend of 7 percent soybean oil and 93 percent petroleum while the seat backs will vary between 2 and 5 percent. Johnson Controls is experimenting with formulas using up to 40 percent soybean oil, but the foam currently won't pass automakers' durability tests for seats at that level. The 40 percent formula may be used for headrests, however.
The primary challenge in substituting soybean oil was the smell. Once Johnson Controls solved that problem, then a series of validation tests could begin with automakers.