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The bio-based industry gets motoring

The automotive industry – like many others – is looking to incorporate bio-based products in a bid to become more sustainable and reduce emissions.

One project, a collaboration between Audi, BASF and materials company Covestro, has pioneered a bio-based hardener for the clearcoat that provides the scratch resistance element to a car, as well as its glossy look.

Dr Markus Mechtel, head of marketing at Covestro, said: “Using renewable raw materials in the production of biobased hardeners helps to conserve fossil resources. At the same time, the biomass, as it grows, captures CO2 in the environment.”

The clearcoat was successfully tested on an Audi Q2 at the Audi plant in Ingolstadt, Germany.

“The use of biobased raw materials in automotive coatings is still in its infancy,” says Thomas Heusser, head of Materials and Process Engineering at Audi. “But the application of the new clearcoat on our existing machines fulfilled all our specifications and delivered promising results. With this project Audi takes up a pioneering role in this field in the automotive industry.”

DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products is another company developing bio-based materials for use in a range of industries, which includes car manufacturers.

Denis Burlaud, the company’s EMEA sales manager, said: “DuPont Tate & Lyle’s Susterra® propanediol is manufactured through a proprietary fermentation process using plant-derived glucose. It is the building block that delivers high-performance in a variety of applications from abrasion resistant synthetic leathers and coated fabrics to soft, crack-resistant thermoplastic polyurethanes. Today, automobile manufacturers can utilize Susterra® propanediol to meet the performance they are looking for as well as the bio-content consumers desire.”

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