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Soy-Based Foams Will Allow Furniture & Bedding Manufacturers To Be More Eco-Friendly

Furniture World News


Marking a significant milestone for Europe’s largest flexible foam manufacturer, Recticel has formally introduced the Arcadia™ brand of flexible foams made with Cargill’s soy-based BiOH™ polyols. Unveiled at the Planète Meuble/Furniture Planet show in Paris, the new brand is drawing significant interest from customers looking to lessen the environmental footprint of their furniture and bedding applications. The Arcadia line offers the same level of quality and performance customers have come to expect from Recticel, with the added benefits of the foam’s renewable source. “At Recticel, we are constantly searching for new products that give our customers, and our company, a technical edge,” said Nick Wallace, Comfort Marketing manager for Recticel. “We chose Cargill’s BiOH polyols for our new Arcadia range to introduce renewable resources in the manufacture of our flexible foams. We found we could use the unique and proprietary soybean oil technology developed by Cargill, to produce high quality foams that our customers expect of us. The implicit reduction in the carbon footprint of the Arcadia foams is already proving to be a popular option.” Recticel expects to see strong sales of Arcadia across Europe, having initially launched in France. The company is currently marketing new grades of the foam for both seating and mattress applications. “Recticel is showing tremendous leadership by bringing a new product line to market featuring renewable polyols as a key ingredient,” said Yusuf Wazirzada, business manager of Cargill’s BiOH product line. “Their goals are consistent with ours – to bring high volume, branded and technologically superior flexible foam products to the global market. This is a major milestone in that journey. Our biobased polyols program started as a research project less than four years ago. While we have been selling BiOH polyols to major foam manufacturers in North America for 18 months, now we are selling product in two of the largest markets in the world.” About the Technology According to Cargill, BiOH polyols derived from soybean and other natural vegetable oils represent the most significant development the polyurethane industry has seen in decades. The development was recently recognized by the Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry as its 2006 Technology Innovation Award winner. BiOH polyols are designed to replace a significant part of petroleum-based polyols as raw materials in flexible foams applications. Foams made with BiOH polyols meet industry standards as compared with conventional petrochemical-based foams. Preliminary life cycle analysis indicates that the production of BiOH polyols results in a significant reduction in nonrenewable energy demand and a substantial net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to production processes for traditional petrochemical polyols. It is estimated that for every million pounds of petroleum-based polyols replaced with BiOH polyols, nearly 2,200 barrels of crude oil is saved for more critical needs. Companies interested in exploring the possibilities of biobased urethane polyols should contact Cargill via e-mail at customerservice_polyols@cargill.com. About Recticel: Recticel is a Belgian group, operating not only throughout Europe, but also in the United States and Japan. Recticel has some 100 establishments in more than 25 countries and 11,300 employees. Recticel manufactures polyurethane foam and contributes through its products to daily comfort for all. Recticel manufactures mattresses and slat bases, marketed under well-known brands: Bultex, Lattoflex, Schlaraffia, Swissflex, etc. Recticel attaches great importance to innovation and technological progress, leading to the use of the Group’s products in ever growing numbers of new and existing applications. About Cargill: Cargill is an international provider of food, agricultural and risk management products and services. With 149,000 employees in 63 countries, the company is committed to using its knowledge and experience to collaborate with customers to help them succeed. For more information, visit http://www.cargill.com.