Bio-based auto-part suppliers respond to higher demand

22 July 2009 21:51  [Source: ICIS news]

MONTREAL, Quebec (ICIS news)--Producers are developing bio-based automobile parts to meet increasing demand for light-weight, renewable components, suppliers said on Wednesday during a trade conference.

Decoma International is developing load floors with a soy polyol content of up to 20%, said William Harney, the company's executive director for research and development.

Harney made his comments during the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing conference in Montreal.

“We are looking to exceed that 20% soy polyol substitution this second half of the year. We are also investigating natural fibre technology to use in floor mats,” Harney said.

The Woodbridge Group and Cargill have developed a polyurethane foam made from oilseed-based polyols.

The polyurethane, called BioFoam, is already being used in the 2009 Ford Escape as well as in several Fiat vehicles and IVECO trucks in Brazil.

Another company, Canadian General Tower (CGT), is working to replace phthalate plasticisers used in automotive parts with bio-based alternatives, said Patrick Diebel, vice president of advanced technology.

The three-day industrial biotech event ends on Wednesday.

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By: Doris de Guzman
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