Soybean oil could replace linseed in paints

Soybean oil on a production line

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A discarded 20-year-old soybean cross from a University of Guelph breeding program is emerging as a potential replacement for linseed or sunflower oil in paints.

OPC Polymers is going to test the oil, which has a high content of linoleic acid, as an ingredient in alkyd oil paints popular for outsides of buildings, baseboards and primers.

Oilseed Innovation Partners (OIP) at the University of Guelph is working with the company and with North Dakota State University which has three other companies involved.

Dr. Gary Ablett initially discovered the soybean variety 20 years ago and now Dr. Istvan Rajcan has worked on further development.

The variety has a third more linoleic acid than commodity soybean oil. Other fatty acid levels in the variety are lower, giving the crop an additional 12 per cent of double bonds.

Rob Roe, director of bioproduct development for said “the company evaluated the resin and paint made from the oil looking at important characteristics like drying time, hardness at various points of drying, corrosion resistance and what colour the resin is when it’s dry.”

The high linoleic oil performed as well as or better than sunflower and linseed oils in the trials and was superior to traditional soybean oil, Roe said.

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