Ohio-developed soy toner eliminates waste

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WORTHINGTON, Ohio — Printers and copiers around the globe will soon be changed for the better as they will begin to use soy-based toner — an environmentally friendly technology developed in Ohio and most recently recognized by the government.

The Ohio Soybean Council, Battelle and Advanced Image Resources, key investors in the research, development and commercialization of soy resins and toner, were recently awarded the 2008 Presidential Green Chemistry Award by the Environmental Protection Agency.

AIR

This new and innovative technology is being commercialized by AIR, a Georgia-based company, and will be available on the market later this year.

AIR will produce the soy-based resin that serves as the building block for the new toner, and sold under the trade names BioRez® and Rezilution®.

The EPA’s Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge promotes research to develop less-toxic alternatives to existing technologies, and to reduce or eliminate waste generated from industrial production.

An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society selected winners from the nearly 100 nominations for this recognition. The research and development of soy-based resins and toner has been funded over the years by Ohio soybean farmers through their monetary contributions to the soybean checkoff program and work by researchers at Battelle.

Advantages

There are many advantages of soy-based resins and toners. Not only are these products grown, manufactured and distributed in the U.S., but it is a big step to reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

With gasoline priced over $4 per gallon in the U.S., reducing our use of petroleum and petroleum products is an important benefit of using products like soy-based toner, which is made from soybeans that are renewable and domestically produced.

“With more than 400 million pounds of petroleum-derived toners and resins used annually in the U.S. to make 3 trillion copies in photocopiers and printers, there is a great market opportunity for soy-based toners and resins,” said Tom Gandolfi, AIR president.

“While other soy-based inks have been used in the printing industry for over 15 years, gaining a 30 percent market share, this new technology is the first of its kind in the laser printer and copier industry.”

Soybean Council

Headquartered in Worthington, the Ohio Soybean Council is governed by a 17-member volunteer farmer board, which directs the Soybean Promotion and Research Program.

The program’s primary goal is to improve soybean profitability by targeting research and development projects through the investment of farmer-contributed funds.

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