Crop shows promise as oil base for paintings and coatings
Researchers at the University of Guelph have created a variety of soybean that could be used as the oil base for coatings and paints.
Oilseed Innovation Partners (OIP), with assistance from alkyd resins developers, will “performance-test the oil from this new University of Guelph soybean variety which is high in linoleic fatty acid,” a Tuesday OIP release said. Alkyd resins are a main ingredient in alkyd oil paints which are typically used for the outsides of buildings or in baseboard and primer applications.
Dr. Gary Ablett, a recognized University of Guelph soybean breeder, initially discovered the soybean variety 20 years ago. Dr. Istvan Rajcan, also a soybean researcher at the university, has since developed the soybean.
The variety contains a fatty acid profile roughly 33 per cent higher in linoleic acid than commodity soybean oil. Other fatty acid levels in the variety are lower, giving the crop an additional 12 per cent of double bonds. So, the crop is a good fit in the manufacturing of the alkyd resins found in coatings and paints.
OIP worked alongside OPC Polymers, a leading coatings company, to conduct trials using the “high linoleic soybean oil in various resins and paints to evaluate how it performs compared to conventional soybean oil, as well as linseed and sunflower oil,” Rob Roe, director of bioproduct development with OIP, said in the release. “The company evaluated the resin and paint made from the oil looking at important characteristics like drying time, hardness at various points of drying, corrosion resistance and what colour the resin is when it’s dry.”
The high linoleic oil performed as well as or better than sunflower and linseed oils in the trials and was superior to traditional soybean oil, Roe said.
OIP is now working with North Dakota State University and three major coatings companies. These researchers and companies found the oil from the new soybean variety to perform better than its counterparts and are interested in furthering the development of the oil for resins and paints.
OIP, through analysis and market research, suggests the potential for a 15 per cent market share for the oil. If achieved, the industry would need about 85,000 acres of the “new purpose-grown Identity Preserved soybean variety that will drive incremental revenue from premiums paid to growers and increased margins for processing,” the release said.
The development of high linoleic soybean oil (HLSO) variety will benefit Ontario's agricultural sector through contract production by Ontario farmers, Dr. Rajcan told Farms.com.
“The oil has such a unique profile due to industrial applications that it is expected to provide a premium for the farmers who grow such a variety,” he said.
OIP wants to designate a seed company to manage the commercialization and breeding of the soybean variety, as well as a processing partner to crush the beans, remove the oil, and refine it.
The “potential of this new high linoleic oil for industrial applications is promising,” said OIP CEO Jeff Schmalz in the release.
Updated Jan. 15, 2018
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