Comparing the life cycle analysis of soy products to petroleum products shows clear environmental advantages on the soybean side.
Early last year, the United Soybean Board released the findings of a life cycle analysis report that compared several different soy-based products with the same products made from petroleum sources, including soy biodiesel. The peer-reviewed study was done by Omni Tech International, a consulting firm specializing in renewable and biobased products. The study included a review of soy-based biofuels, plastics, lubricants and coatings.
Omni Tech consultant Jim Pollack says they found out that soybean yields increase 12% in the last ten years, energy to grow soybeans was down 20%, soybean crushing plants were using 45% less energy to make soybean oil. “When the oil was sent over to the biodiesel plants, they were using 35% less energy,” Pollack said. “So, collectively, all of these improvements have resulted in a very favorable life cycle profile for soy biodiesel.”
Pollack was telling that story at the recent National Association of Farm Broadcasting annual meeting. Listen to my interview with him here: Jim Pollack with Omni Tech International