Materials manufacturer Röchling Automotive says it has patented a polylactide (PLA)-based biopolymer that consists of at least 90% renewable raw materials, called BioBoom. The company says the material offers an ecological and economical alternative to most conventional materials such as polyester (PC, PET, PBT) but also polystyrene (ABS), polyolefins (such as PP) and polyamides (PA6).
“We want to support our customers in the development of environmentally friendly vehicles and thus help shape the transformation of the industry toward a sustainable one,” explained Hanns-Peter Knaebel, chairman of the board of management and CEO of Röchling Automotive. “With our bioplastics, we are bringing a sustainable solution to the market that originates from a completely self-controlled supply chain – from renewable resources to the automobile manufacturers.” Röchling Automotive has built up internal expertise in materials development over many years in cooperation with various partners.
Röchling claims the material provides a 70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions during manufacture compared with PP and almost 90% compared with PA6. It says that this translates to a reduction in CO2 emissions during the manufacture of a mid-sized car of 515kg.
Three standard types of biopolymers are currently available, which are suitable for applications in the engine compartment and underbody as well as for the interior of a vehicle. Each of the three types can be tailored to individual customer needs and the respective specific requirements.