I plan on sharing some interesting bits of information that I got from some of the men behind the soy industry in general, the United Soybean Board
, while I was at the SAE Congress in Detroit soon. But, one tidbit is that I was able to personally sample some automotive interior foam products made from soybean oil. There was foam destined for your seats and also some soybean oil based sound-deadening material. The products seemed fine to me, and they must be good enough for automotive use, as Ford
will be using them in some of their newest models in the near future, according to Lear, the supplier which has done the most research into the technology. Here is an older press release
from Lear on the subject.
FYI - they also had a soybean oil based foam football on display. That makes me wonder what the current foam footballs are made from. How many products do we currently purchase that have petroleum content in them which could be replaced by renewables? I'm betting more than you or I think.
[Source: Unites Soybean Board and Lear Corporation]