Soy-based asphalt featured during Farm Progress Show - Indiana Corn and Soy

Soy-based asphalt featured during Farm Progress Show

Posted: November 3, 2022
Category: Indiana Corn and Soybean Post - Fall 2022, ISA, News

U.S. soybean farmers attending the 2022 Farm Progress Show had the opportunity to experience the value of their soy checkoff investments in research and development firsthand. An installation of more than 42,000 square feet of soy-based asphalt, sponsored by the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), was completed at the Central Iowa Expo Grounds near Boone, Iowa, just in time for the event.

As high oleic soybean acres continue to increase, more end users are realizing the intrinsic value of this soybean variety and the corresponding added value it brings to a range of products, including asphalt.

“Our goal in funding this project is to highlight the diversity of high oleic soybean oil and its potential for use in pavement, coverings and coatings,” said April Hemmes, United Soybean Board (USB) farmer-leader and District 2 director for the Iowa Soybean Association.

“The soy checkoff’s partnership with the Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa State University is an example of how we make checkoff dollars go farther to bring products like this to the market. USB has invested in this work since 2017, so it’s very exciting to see it come to fruition because we are going beyond petroleum to reach a new level of renewability and sustainability.”

The soy-based asphalt surface demonstrates the versatility of U.S. soybeans and research advancements toward their use. The binding agent, developed with high oleic soybean oil, increases asphalt durability and offers a more environmentally sustainable alternative to traditional binding agents.

“Infrastructure and demand are two priorities for Iowa soybean farmers,” said Robb Ewoldt, ISA president and soybean farmer from Davenport. “Soy’s incorporation in asphalt enhances the product’s durability and longevity and reduces maintenance costs. It also increases demand for soybean oil, improves the product’s environmental footprint and provides the expo grounds with greater flexibility in the events it attracts and hosts.”

The paving project is an extension of the research conducted by Iowa State University into the formulation of high oleic soybean oil as a replacement for other compounds commonly used in the creation of asphalt products. Using a cold in-place technology, the project combines 100% recycled asphalt pavement mixed with a soy-based polymer.

“Site improvements that also highlight the versatility of crops produced by Iowa farmers is a win for all,” said Matt Jungmann, events director of the Farm Progress Show. “We’re creating an enhanced experience for visitors by upgrading the Varied Industries Tent area with this asphalt. Farmers and exhibitors will find this new surface creates a better environment for the show.”

In total, the construction utilizes more than 2,300 pounds of soybean oil, or 215 bushels of soybeans. On average, each soybean bushel yields nearly 10.7 pounds of oil.

The Iowa Soybean Association is proud to invest in the research and technology to make soy-based asphalt a reality, added Ewoldt. “Featuring soy in such a prominent location will advance awareness and understanding of the product’s versatility and benefits, drive demand for homegrown soybeans and make the expo grounds more accessible for guests for years and decades to come,” he said.

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