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Bioplastics in Automotive Applications

SpecialChem / Jul 11, 2008

First components are on the market, OEMs are evaluating and considering. The use of materials from renewable resources is really nothing new in the automotive industry. Natural fibres have been used for many years for their low density, their excellent mechanical and thermal properties, and of course their relatively low prices. Natural fibres that are used for automotive applications are flax, hemp, jute/kenaf, sisal etc. as well as wood and cotton. In a recent market study on natural fibres in the automotive industry the German "nova-Institut für Ökologie und Innovation" published some figures on market volumes in Germany. nova-Institut found out that by the year 2005 approximately 30,000 tonnes of natural fibres were used in automotive applications in that country. The chart on the left shows the distribution of 19,000 tonnes of natural fibres, not including wood and cotton. However, nova-Institut estimates the quantity for 2005 at about 27,000 tonnes of wood fibre and about 40,000 tonnes of respective wood fibre composites.

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