Mitsubishi Develops Bamboo-Reinforced Bioplastics for Auto Cabins


In efforts to reduce fossil fuel dependence and CO2 emissions, Mitsubishi Motors has announced the development of plastics for car interiors made from plant-based resin and bamboo fiber. The automaker hopes that the use of bioplastics can help replace processed wood and oil-based materials in car interiors. The materials they are calling "Green Plastics" are being developed in conjunction with the Aichi Industrial Technology Institute, and are planned for use in the interior of a concept minicar scheduled for next year. The plastic, called polybutylene succinate, or PBS, is a resin made from corn or sugar cane, and reinforced with fibers from the fast —growing bamboo plant. Mitsubishi reports test results showing an estimated 50% reduction in lifecycle CO2 emissions over petrol-based polypropylene, and a roughly 80% VOC reduction over processed wood hardboard. The pursuit of more sustainable component materials complements Mitsubishi's recent developments in subcompact and in-wheel motor electric cars. :: Green Car Congress (thanks to Joe for the tip)