DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) – Collaborative efforts between researchers and the Illinois Soybean Association have brought soy-based asphalt to the Farm Progress Show in Decatur.

A new 43,600 square foot pad utilizing the technology was paved prior to the start of the show, allowing members of the Varied Industry Tent to be on solid ground.

The paving project involves utilizing 100% recycled asphalt pavement and combines it with a soy-based polymer. This particular project on the grounds of Progress City utilizes 4,200 pounds of soybean oil. Each bushel of soybean yields almost 11 pounds of oil, meaning it took almost 400 bushels of soybeans to complete the project.

Research in the new technology has found that by incorporating soy into the asphalt, the product remains strong and durable and is able withstand foot and vehicle traffic. It also gives the soy-based asphalt a longer life expectancy.

The goal of the project is to potentially use it one day in road construction products. That means in the not-so-distant future, drivers could find ethanol from Illinois corn being used to help power vehicles while they drive on asphalt mixed with Illinois soybeans, a true testament to the advancement in agriculture today.

Learn more about soy and the various uses it can have and visit the Illinois Soybean Association’s website here.