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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1301

Automotive Bio-PET

Automotive Bio-PET fibres for Nissan electric vehicle Teijin Limited, Tokyo, Japan recently announced that its ECO CIRCLE Plantfiber bio-polyester has been selected for use in the seats and interior trim surface of the 100% electric Nissan LEAF, updated on November 20, 2012. It is the first time for Eco Circle Plantfiber to be used for the interior of a mass-produced vehicle. Eco Circle Plantfiber is plant-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fiber developed and launched by Teijin as the world’s first commercially produced partly bio-derived PET fiber. The seat and interior trim surface were co-developed by Teijin, automotive seat manufacturer Suminoe Teijin Techno Co., Ltd. and Nissan Motor Company Ltd. Specifically, Eco Circle Plantfiber is used for the seats, parts of the door trim, headrests and center armrest. Nissan Leaf, electric vehicle (Photos: Nissan) About 30% of Eco Circle Plantfiber’s composition is made with biofuels derived from sugarcane. PET typically is made by polymerizing ethylene glycol (EG) and dimethyl terephthalate (DMT) or telephthalic acid (PTA), with EG accounting for roughly 30%. The EG contained in Eco Circle Plantfiber is bio-derived rather than oil-derived. Teijin’s bio-polyester fiber conserves fossil resources and lowers greenhouse gas emissions due to its carbon neutral effects, yet still offers the same characteristics and quality of oil-derived polyester. The Bio-PET fibres also can be recycled using Teijin’s Eco Circle closed-loop polyester recycling system, where polyester is chemically decomposed at the molecular level and then recycled as new DMT that offers purity and quality comparable to material derived directly from petroleum. Eco Circle Plantfiber is available as fiber and textile. Teijin has been expanding global market for applications for this product ranging from apparel, car seats and interiors to personal hygiene products. The company aims to increase sales to over 50% of its total polyester fiber sales for automotive seats and interiors by 2015. MT www.teijin.co.jp/english 24 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/13] Vol. 8

Automotive bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/13] Vol. 8 25

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