29 September 2020
BIOmotive project, Innovation in action

 

Spring 2020


In our present time focus on the environmental aspects is becoming a mega trend. The global warming and limiting CO2 emission are topics that needs actions and planned operations by the public and private body.

European commission and BBI-JU are acting since 2014. The BBI JU's mission is to implement, under Horizon 2020 rules, the Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA) developed by the industry and validated by the European Commission. It will bring more than €3.7 billion investments in bio-based innovation.

Moreover some private bodies see the possibility to implement and stress a circular economy approach in which the value chain of biobased material can be implemented in industrial standard practice.

These actions are the driving forces that clustered together the partners of BIOmotive project.

 

Automotive market
More and more vehicles’ manufacturers and suppliers are looking with peculiar interest to biobased alternatives derived from renewable raw materials such as wood, fl ax, jute, sisal, cotton or coir, used as reinforcement materials, as well as reinforced or unreinforced biobased thermoplastics, thermoset or chemical building blocks. At present, the amount of plastic materials in European motor cars is around 20% by weight, not including tyres.

The biobased plastics which are used in the automotive industry are mainly derived from vegetable oils like soybean oil and castor oil which pose serious environmental concern in terms of competition with the food and feed chains.

Goal of BIOmotive project is to use monomer and polymer with sustainable and second generation feedstock and to improved mechanical and functional properties of the developed biobased products against the products available in the market will be demonstrated. Biobased polyurethanes have the potential of starting a new era in the application of biobased materials into the automotive sector, joining performances, cost – competitiveness and environmental sustainability and paving the ground towards its massive use in vehicles' production.

Textiles, Thermoplastic PolyUrethanes (TPU) & TPU composites, 2K foams & 2K reinforced foams for interior plastic parts, fabrication of seats and seats fi llers.

Raw materials approach
Within BIOmotive project, several renewable, competitive and sustainable feedstocks will be used for the production of biobased monomers, building blocks and polymers.

The fi rst raw material is represented by wood pulp, a second raw material – vegetable oils obtained by oil crops grown in marginal lands not in competition with food and feed value chain (such as cardoon crop). Sugars from by-products of 1st sugars and second generation sugar feedstocks represent the third.

BIOmotive project, Innovation in action
The project is well underway with several achievements already documented. Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) granulate having 67% bio carbon content has been prepared on optimised bio-raw materials. First car part injections using this TPU have been done and injection process is being optimised. Wood pulp sustainable production process has been optimised and fi rst biofillers have been integrated into TPU. At the same time 57 % bio carbon containing 2k polyurethane foam has been made in real car seat production moulds. These foams have been integrated with Biomotive bio-textiles as reinforcement allowing > 60% overall bio carbon content in this element. Currently performance optimisations of both materials are under way as well as processability studies. The initial experimental data has been feeded into preliminary life cycle analysis. The results of this preliminary study revealed that the project assumptions can be fulfi lled and that the works are proceeding towards fulfi lment of project goals