"Going green," the concept of using renewable, bio-based materials to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that exacerbate global climate change, has hit the road, literally.
Earlier this month, Fluid iSoylator, a hydrophobic soy-based concrete sealant, earned the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Bio-based Product label.
The label highlights the product's percentage of bio-based content, which is the ratio of non-fossil organic carbon (new organic carbon) to total organic carbon in a product.
Environmental Concrete Products markets Fluid iSoylator as product that protects and prolongs the life of new and existing concrete used on roads and other infrastructure. Derived from soybean oil, the product's physical properties also make it possible to be adapted for other potential uses, including a combination paint-and-sealing product, says to Imbrock, president of ECP.
Researchers at Purdue University developed the concrete sealant technology in 2014, and licensed it to ECP through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization.
A "GREEN"-BASED HYDROPHOBIC CONCRETE SEALANT
According to Imbrock, traditional concrete sealants on the market create a film on the surface of concrete through a chemical reaction between components mixed together or with oxygen. The hardened concrete sustains damage when fluids on the surface are absorbed into its network of pores, like those in a sponge.
"When the fluid, which could be water that contains salts or other ions, saturates the pore network, it will expand inside the concrete and initiate damage upon freezing," Imbrock explains. "If the fluids evaporate instead, the ions remain and crystallize in the pores, which also creates damage. New fractures caused by either method of damage allow for even more ingress of fluids, which repeats the cycle and creates further damage that will destroy the concrete over time."
Using renewable, bio-based materials displaces the need for nonrenewable petroleum-based chemicals. Bio-based products, through petroleum displacement, have played an increasingly important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Bio-based products are cost-comparative and readily available and perform as well as or better than their conventional counterparts.
USDA BIO-PREFERRED PROGRAM ENCOURAGES INDUSTRY TO GO GREEN
Third-party verification for a product’s bio-based content is administered through the USDA Bio-Preferred Program, created by the 2002 farm bill, was recently expanded in 2014. Among its goals, the Bio-Preferred Program aims to increase the development, purchase and use of bio-based products.
The USDA Bio-Preferred certification validates Fluid iSoylator as a safe, sustainable alternative for protecting concrete infrastructure. For Imbrock, the achievement "also confirms the commitment of Environmental Concrete Products to preserve infrastructure while promoting agriculture.”
“We applaud Environmental Concrete Products for earning the USDA Certified Bio-based Product label,” says Kate Lewis of the USDA Bio-Preferred Program. “Products from Environmental Concrete Products are contributing to an ever-expanding marketplace that adds value to renewable agriculture commodities, creates jobs in rural communities and decreases our reliance on petroleum.”
According to a USDA report released in 2015, bio-based products contributed $369 billion to the U.S. economy in 2013. They also support, directly and indirectly, 4 million jobs.
The same report found that bio-based products also displace approximately 300 million gallons of petroleum annually in the nation, equal to taking 200,000 cars off the road. The increased production of renewable chemicals and bio-based products contributes to the development and expansion of the U.S. bio-economy that looks to agriculture for sustainable sources of fuel, energy, chemicals, and materials.
For more information about the sealant and sealant applicators industry, visit BCC Research's latest report on this vibrant market.