Company initiatives

Bio-polyamide in Mercedes Benz

This is the first time I am writing a post in an IPad as I am currently traveling so hopefully this will not be a mess when it’s finally posted.

I came across this news yesterday from DSM about their bio-based polyamide 4,10 EcoPaXX now being used in the engine cover of Mercedes Benz A-Class engine. Around 70% of the raw materials used to make DSM’s EcoPaXX® Q-HGM24 reinforced compound are derived from the castor plant, according to the company.

The polyamide reportedly was able to meet specifications such as temperatures of more than 200°C, resistance to warpage and and high dimensional stability. The engine cover is also required to resist high dynamic loads deriving from engine vibrations, and it needs to be light. Mercedes-Benz’s target was to develop the new A-Class with better fuel-efficiency than the previous generation, and overall fuel consumption has said to have been improved by 26%.

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DSM said this is the first time that EcoPaXX Q-HGM24 has been used for high volume mass-production, and more are expected to follow for use in durable engineering plastics. DSM launched EcoPaXX in 2009.

Mercedes-Benz stated in their Life Cycle Environmental Certificate for the A-Class that production of an engine cover in bio-based polyamide results in only around 40% of the quantity of carbon dioxide emissions that would be necessary in order to produce the same component from a conventional polyamide.

BBP Kunststoffwerk Marbach Baier GmbH is the supplier for the engine cover. BBP build the production tooling including optimization and process fine tuning which is needed to reach the requested dimensional and surface requirements of Mercedes-Benz.

Aside from DSM, the blog mentioned in previous posts some of the current biobased polyamides producers that uses castor for feedstock such as Arkema, Evonik, Solvay (via its acquired Rhodia business) and DuPont.

The blog will post more information on other recent bio-polyamides development when I can use a proper computer to do more research. In the meantime, you can check out related posts on the following links:

INVISTA seeks more bio-based nylon feedstock

PUMA debuts biodegradable shoes

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 12 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.

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