Home Indiana Agriculture News Purdue Students Take Home Big Money for Soy Innovations

Purdue Students Take Home Big Money for Soy Innovations


2015 Soy winners

Soy Sniffs 1st PlaceAt Tuesday night’s Celebrating Young Thinkers award ceremony, the Indiana Soybean Alliance honored 3 more teams of Purdue students in the annual Soy Innovation Competition. The contest awards $20,000 for first place and $10,000 for 2nd place. Thirteen teams competed this year and last year’s runner-up team came back with a new product this year to take top honors.

“Soy Sniffs is a line of all natural, eco-friendly soy odor diffusers,” explained Sara Richert.

One thing the judges liked about the product is that it is almost entirely soy content.

“We have an in-home version of soy sniffs which is derived from soybean oil and stearic acid and then scented with essential oils. It’s 90% soybeans 10% oil for scent. What this replaces is something like a flameless candle and it can be used where flames aren’t safe, or it can replace something like a Renuzit cone which gives off hazardous chemicals such as benzene, petroleum, formaldehyde, which have actually been linked to respiratory issues as well as hormone imbalances.”

The second version is a car air freshener. Sara is from Oak Park, Illinois and her teammates, brothers Evan and Sean Anderson are from Churubusco, Indiana.

Soycotta Pots 2nd PlaceSecond place honors went to the Soycotta Pots team comprised of Tyler Allen, Levi Jackson and Chelsea Sullivan, all from Corydon, Indiana.

“The soycotta flower pots are the best of both worlds in the potting industry,” explained Allen. “Whenever you go to buy a traditional flower pot you would either have to buy the hard terra cotta pot or the soft, brittle peat pots. We try to strike a balance between those. The soycotta pots have the hard exterior of a terra cotta pot, which you can display for months on end, but once the plant grew large enough you could always crack the pot, plant the whole thing in the ground, and in the matter of a week it will fully dissolve and provide fertilizer to the plant.”

Winners of the $500 People’s Choice award were students making up Team Soya Cell. They developed soy-based materials for lithium-ion batteries. Members are Nicholas Dininger from Indianapolis, Arthur Dysart from Baldwin, NY, Ram Saraswat from New Dehli, India, and Jialiang Tang of Dallas, TX, all chemical engineering majors.