WASHINGTON -- Speaking at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, a chemist for the USDA described the development of new soy-based glues that use a substance in soy milk and tofu and could mean a new generation of more eco-friendly furniture, cabinets, flooring and other wood products.

The new adhesive contains soy flour and an additive used to make paper towels resist water. It performs as well as conventional wood adhesives for interior products, the scientists said, and does not contain formaldehyde used in traditional plywood, particleboard and other composite products.

Charles Frihart PhD, a research chemist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, WI, said he and his colleagues plan to develop soy adhesives that are stronger than existing ones. Soy-based adhesives currently make up less than 5 percent of the wood adhesive market, but Frihart expects their use to increase. The Forest Service is developing the adhesives in partnership with Ashland Hercules and Heartland Resource Technologies.

Source: American Chemical Society

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