With half a dozen components that can be used in products of all kinds, soybeans serve as a practical solution for countless applications in nearly every industry from automotives to winterization.

According to SoyNewUses.org, soybeans are “often referred to as the miracle crop” because they provide “a sustainable source of protein and oil worldwide. … [And,] because soy grows throughout the world, it represents a viable and renewable replacement for petrochemicals” used in many everyday materials. However, the benefits of using soy go far beyond reducing our consumption of and dependence on foreign oil.

More Eco-friendly

In many cases, bio-based products made from soy can be recycled or composted. This attribute offers a big positive to manufacturers who want to continue decreasing the environmental footprint left by their products. It also can be promoted to consumers, many of whom value organizations that make efforts to go green.

Less Toxic

Because soybean oil is naturally non-toxic, it provides a harmless base for many petro-based applications such as adhesives, paint and cleaning agents. Although many of the final products are not completely non-toxic, they are less dangerous than their all-petro counterparts.

Fewer Emissions

A 2010 peer-reviewed life cycle profile funded by the United Soybean Board documented “multiple energy and environmental benefits of U.S. soybean farming and processing.” Among their findings were several air quality improvements:

  • When using a soy-based polyol (Agrol®, in this case), 5.5 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalents are removed or prevented from entering the atmosphere for every pound of Agrol that replaces a pound of petroleum-based polyols.
  • The production process for Agrol® has a lower global warming potential than the production of petroleum-based polyols, as it emits less formaldehyde, hydrocarbons, methane and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere.

Other Uses


Learn the latest about new and emerging uses of soybeans, including a helpful Soy Products Guide or interactive version.


Created by the Ohio Soybean Council and the soybean checkoff—this site strives to “make known the extensive range of soy-based and other bioproducts available to consumers and industry.”

BioPreferred® Catalog

From the USDA, this catalog helps “identify products that are eligible for preferred Federal purchasing, and to identify products whose biobased content has been independently laboratory tested and third-party certified.”

Soy Products and Uses

Highlights the six main components in soybeans and lists their potential applications.

Have Questions About Additional Uses for Soybeans?

Contact ISA’s Staff Director of Strategic Market Development, Mark Albertson, at:
P: (309) 808-3601
E: AlbertsonM@ilsoy.org