Cargill has broken ground on a US$22 million BiOH™ brand polyols manufacturing plant in Chicago. This will be the first world-scale biobased polyols plant, and is estimated to be operational in November. The plant will produce Cargill's BiOH soybean-based polyols to serve its growing customer base in North America and Europe. BiOH™ brand polyols is an ingredient that replaces petroleum-based chemicals traditionally used in polyurethane products, such as flexible foam cushioning for furniture, bedding and automotive products. Since going commercial with BiOH polyols in 2005, Cargill expanded production capabilities at a site in Brazil in September 2007. A preliminary life cycle analysis indicates that manufacturing BiOH polyols results in 36% less global-warming emissions and requires 61% less non-renewable energy than traditional petroleum-based polyols. For every 1 million pounds of BiOH polyols that replace petroleum polyols, 2,200 barrels of crude oil are saved.
BiOH polyols find application in furniture cushioning, bedding foams, automotive seats, and building insulation. Performance benefits offered by the material when used in flexible foam applications, include consistent product quality, low odor, superior load-bearing capabilities and more.