Solargon: conservation of energy through intelligent design and utilization of super efficient building components to create very green cabins and homes.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Poly vs Soy

Polyurethane spray foam was invented in a laboratory accident in the first half of the twentieth century. Originally used as coatings in aviation applications, foam polyurethane products evolved and were eventually applied to home building situations where hermetic sealing by insulation was desired. Over the years spray foam went through ups and downs: at everlasting holy war with fiberglass; formulating a version that discouraged mold growth; making the price more reasonable; and of course - how environmentally friendly can a ultra-efficient house really be filled to the gills with polyurethane?
Enter the BioBased soy-oil based spray foam product. BioBased Spray Foam Insulation is a spray foam with all the good traits of its polyurethane forerunner, like being able to hermetically seal a house to ultra efficiency - while being installed in a fraction of the time that fiberglass takes. BioBased ratchets this up a notch by formulating their product from soy bean oil, a renewable resource which also renders the insulation inert - no more mold.
As any sage in your life may have told you at one point or the other, there is no such thing as a free lunch. So what’s the catch with soy foam? The product performs, it delivers serious cost and environmental impact reductions to the home owner and it is renewable. But soy is a monolithic crop. It has taken biodiversity out of thousands of American farms and pushed fresh foods to an afterthought in the place of cheap and easy to prepare processed protein substitutes. Is a product that would encourage more expansion of soy bean growth really as good for the environment as the end user merchandise? In the grand scheme of environmental impact, maybe polyurethane foam is the better product after all. A thorough study is in order.

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