Automotive Giant Sees Future In Hemp-Based Bioplastic

Introduced last week at the L.A. Auto Show, the new product is called BioMat and offers a lighter and more eco-friendly alternative to traditional injection-moulded plastic, reports the magazine Eco Composites.

Hemp (Cannabis spec.) - detail -

BioMat is produced from a mixture of hemp fibers and a bio-based matrix called PBS (poly-butylene succinate), which Mitsubishi’s chemical division helped develop.

It will be used to make interior components like door panels, which can then be covered with various textiles or leather.

According to the company, BioMat “reduces the industry’s dependence on the oil price and helps reduce greenhouse gases and will contribute to a higher recyclability level for future vehicles, as well as to a positive impact on the life cycle assessment.”

While hemp is not uncommon in cars today, the use of all-natural materials makes BioMat an improvement over older hemp composites, including Faurecia’s NAFILean product, which is made from hemp and petroleum-based polypropylene.

Both BioMat and NAFILean weigh about 25% less than comparable fiberglass materials, contributing to better car performance and fuel efficiency.

Read more via Automotive Giant Sees Future In Hemp-Based Bioplastic – Leaf Science.

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