Lao K LLC, an Albany company, has won a grant of $69,975 from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for developing a plywood adhesive made from soybean flour.

Lao K was among 34 small businesses to win a research grant from the EPA to determine if the adhesive and a curing agent used in the process can be made and used on a commercial basis.

According to the EPA, the new resin would provide a non-toxic, eco-friendly alternative to the carcinogenic urea-formaldehyde resin that interior plywood and other composite wood panels use to make cabinets, bookshelves and furniture.

EPA says that the curing agent used in making the adhesive is derived from glycerol, a widely-used organic compound, whereas soybean flour is abundant, renewable and readily available.

The grant was part of $2.38m awarded by the EPA’s National Center for Environmental Research, which intends to help small businesses develop innovative and sustainable technologies.