Soy Foam: Hiding in Plain Sight

Invention Convention regional finals are going on now, and State Science Day will take place on May 14. The bright young minds presenting their ideas are the innovators of the future, and inspiration could be right under their feet!

Polyurethane foam is found in products all around us, from carpet underlayment and car seats to mattresses and toys. A soy-based oil, Agrol, can be used to replace a part of the petroleum used to make this foam. Biobased products like Agrol are better for the environment and lessen the carbon footprint of manufacturing.

Currently, the largest use for Agrol is in the backing of artificial grass, but possible applications go far beyond that, according to Agrol’s maker, BioBased Technologies LLC. BioBased CEO Amy Sorrell noted, “What’s amazing is, if you just walk into a Walmart store, for example, there’s so many things. I went through a few weeks ago, and there were hundreds of things that are polyurethane that you just don’t think about, from toys, pillows, mattress toppers, to rugs, to chairs.”