What are BiOH® Polyols?
We guess that you’re probably asking that question since “polyol” is not a word that most people use every day! BiOH® polyols are ingredients for flexible foam in products you use daily- furniture cushions, mattresses, mattress toppers, pillows, carpet cushion, and automotive seats. Traditional foam is made from petroleum-based chemicals. BiOH polyols are made from a renewable resource - soybean oil. Today BiOH polyols cannot replace all of the petroleum chemicals in these products, but we are leading the industry.
Replacing Petroleum with Renewable Materials
Current BiOH polyol technology is used to create foam products with typical levels of renewable content from 5 to 20% of the final foam. Recent advances have increased this to more than 30% of the foam. Considering that only 3 years ago all of these products were 100% petroleum-based, we think this is a significant step! However, we’re not satisfied yet; the BiOH polyol team is committed to developing new chemistries that create products made with higher levels of renewable materials.
While we thoroughly test the foams in our R&D Lab, the final verdict comes from our customers who evaluate and test foams made from our polyols based on their formulations and at an actual production scale. Foams made with BiOH polyols have been used in the home furnishings industry since 2005 so they’ve been thoroughly tested by our customers. (Maybe you’re sitting on some right now!?!)
An Environmentally Friendly Choice
You get quality products that meet your needs while leaving a smaller environmental footprint. We have updated our life cycle analysis data as well as had it independently peer reviewed*. The data indicated that manufacturing BiOH polyols required ~50% less fossil fuel based energy and results in significantly less global warming emissions than manufacturing the petroleum components we replace. Most of our commercial products are actually carbon neutral. Additionally, for every 1 million lbs of BiOH polyols used, over 2000 barrels or 84,000 gallons of petroleum can be saved.
Make a Difference
Although you won’t notice a difference with soy-based cushions in your furniture, you’ll feel the difference emotionally from making a more sustainable choice. The positive environmental impact of one sofa made with soy cushions may be small. However, by asking for foams made with BiOH polyols in furniture, mattresses and other foam products, the collective impact from working together can be significant environmental savings for our families and future generations.