Biofuel, Bioplastic, Company initiatives, Products, R&D, Video

UPM launched the Biofore concept car

It’s 6am US EST and I still can’t sleep (which I will pay for later), so it’s back to blogging for me.

Helsinki, Finland-based pulp and paper company UPM recently launched the Biofore Concept Car at the Geneva International Motor Show, which featured passenger compartment floor, center console, display panel cover and door panels made of thermoformable wood materials marketed as UPM Grada; front mask, side skirts, dashboard, door panels and interior panels made of biocomposite marketed as UPM Formi; and it is run by UPM’s wood-based renewable diesel under the brand UPM BioVerno.

The Biofore Concept Car is designed and manufactured by students from the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.  According to UPM, the use of the biomaterials made the car 150 kilograms lighter than its equivalents, resulting in lower fuel consumption.

All biomaterials used in the car are cellulose fiber-based composite or thermoformable wood material, which can be safely recycled or burned. The chassis of the car, however, is made of carbon fiber and the load-bearing parts of metal.

Self-adhesive label materials under the brand UPM Raflatac are also used to mark spare parts as well as in the interior and exterior design of the car. The labels are said to have been manufactured in a solvent-free production processes.

Here is a video explaining the materials used in the concept car.

There had been really great concept cars introduced in the past using biomaterials, one recently is from Ford using the Coca-Cola PlantBottle bio-PET resin.

Last month, Kia Motors Corporation announced that its new Kia Soul EV (electric vehicle) is now using various bio-based materials such as biodegradable plastic, biofoam and bio-fabric derived from biomass. The company did not indicate specific biomaterials that it used on the vehicle although Kia did mention that it has applied five newly developed eco-friendly materials including cellulose-based plastic and thermoplastic elastomer fabric.

According to a certification from the UL Enviroment, the electric vehicle’s interior materials has about 10% bio-based organic carbon content (and about 23,942 grams of bio-based plastics).

Kia Soul EV interior made of bioplastics

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 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.

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