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Issue 01/2023

  • Text
  • Automotive
  • Toys
  • Wwwbioplasticsmagazinecom
  • Editorial
  • Engineering
  • Biobased
  • Carbon
  • Sustainable
  • Materials
  • Recycling
  • Plastics
  • Germany
  • Bioplastics
Highlights: Toys Automotive Basics: Amorphous PHA Digital product passports

Automotive Recycling

Automotive Recycling technology for inexpensive, high-quality carbon fibre Carbon-fibre-reinforced plastics (CFRP) are highly attractive for various industries in demanding application fields due to their unique balance of rigidity, mechanical strength, and lightweight – also compared with conventional glass-fibre-reinforced plastics. However, CFRPs are expensive and challenging from a recycling perspective, as it is difficult to extract the carbon fibres from the resin after usage. Together with its project partners at the National Institute of Technology at Kitakyushu College (Kitakyushu, Japan) and the Tokyo University of Science (Tokyo, Japan), Asahi Kasei (Tokyo, Japan) has developed a recycling method that allows carbon fibres to be extracted from CFRP or carbon-fibre-reinforced thermoplastics (CFRTP) used in automobiles. This results in high-quality, inexpensive continuous carbon fibre that can be recycled perpetually, contributing to a more circular economy. Unlike carbon fibre that is chopped up during the recycling process, Asahi Kasei’s method allows carbon fibre to be extracted from a plastic compound seamlessly, resulting in continuous strands of carbon fibre that can be reapplied in exactly the same manner while retaining properties identical to the original substance. The conventional technologies for recycling carbon fibres by chopping and re-applying them results in a product with lower quality and less durability, insufficient for highperformance applications. To address this issue, Asahi Kasei has developed an electrolyzed sulfuric acid solution method that allows the carbon fibres to retain their original strength and continuous nature while fully decomposing the resin the carbon fibres are embedded in. This allows for their continued use in high-performance applications and presents an inexpensive, circular solution to the end-of-life dilemma of carbon fibre plastic compounds. Thus, these carbon fibre compounds present in vehicles for weight reduction can be easily and inexpensively broken down at end-of-vehicle-life and reapplied to new vehicles in the future. In addition, Asahi Kasei is developing a carbon-fibrereinforced thermoplastic unidirectional tape (CFRTP-UD tape) that utilizes both recycled continuous carbon fibre and the company’s Leona polyamide resin. Boasting a higher strength than metal, this CFRTP-UD tape can be applied to automobile frames and bodies, further enabling the recycling of end-of-vehicle-life parts into different, new automobile parts. This presents a solution to the long-term challenge that carbon fibre usage for vehicles has posed on the industry and is expected to economically benefit and strengthen carbon fibre’s usage within the automobile industry on a global scale. Moving forward, Asahi Kasei will perform demonstrations and develop the business, aiming for practical application around 2030. AT | 16 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/23] Vol. 18

Audi uses chemically recycled material for the first time LyondellBasell (Rotterdam, the Netherlands) and Audi (Ingolstadt, Germany) recently announced a first-time collaboration to help close the loop for mixed automotive plastic waste. Audi is installing plastic seatbelt buckle covers in the Q8 e-tron made using LyondellBasell plastic that supports the sourcing of feedstocks from mixed automotive plastic waste. Plastic components from customer vehicles that can no longer be repaired are dismantled, shredded, and processed by chemical recycling into pyrolysis oil. The pyrolysis oil is then used as a raw material in LyondellBasell’s manufacturing process for the production of new plastics, replacing virgin fossil feedstocks. The recycled content is attributed to the Audi product via a mass balance approach (the recycled content used is 70 % by weight – including fillers and additives – the mass balance method is validated by an independent certification body, ecoloop). “As part of the PlasticLoop project, we are working with Audi to establish an innovative closed-loop process, recycling plastic automotive parts for use in new vehicles”, said Erik Licht, LyondellBasell Advanced Polymer Solutions New Business Development Director. “For the first time, we are using chemical recycling to recycle mixed automotive plastic waste into plastic granulate for automotive interior applications. The plastic granulate is then used in the production of the seatbelt buckle covers for the Audi Q8 e-tron”. With this process, LyondellBasell, Audi, and chemical recycler SynCycle (Next Generation Group and BDI – Feldkirchen/Raaba-Grambach, Austria), succeed in recycling a stream of material which today is mostly only suitable for energy recovery. This reduces the usage of fossilbased primary materials for the Audi Q8 e-tron and keeps valuable feedstocks in a circular loop. Materials produced from pyrolysis oil are of the same high quality as virgin materials and have the same properties. Chemical recycling offers an alternative to energy recovery and complements mechanical recycling. “Audi’s vision is to use secondary materials wherever it is technically possible, economically viable and ecologically beneficial”, says Philipp Eder, Project Manager for Circular Economy in the Supply Chain at Audi. “The PlasticLoop project is part of Audi’s circular economy strategy and a good example of cross-sector cooperation within the Audi supply chain. Findings from the project are also incorporated into the product development of future vehicle projects via the Design for Recycling approach”. AT Automotive Flax based biocomposites for Hyundai Environmental commitment is the new resolution for 2023, and Hyundai Motor Group (Seoul, South Korea) and Hyundai America Technical Center (HTCI) (Ypsilanti, MI, USA) showcase theirs by featuring Lingrove’s (San Francisco, CA, USA) innovative, highperformance, plant-based ekoa ® in the Palisade concept vehicle as a luxury and interactive finish, at the Hyundai Open Innovation Lounge in Seoul, Korea. Delivering a higher strength-to-weight ratio than steel, ekoa is developed from renewable flax fibres to replace wood, laminates, and plastics with a carbon-neutral, ultra-sustainable material. ekoa is already being used to replace rainforest trees and carbon composites in musical instruments and wood panelling in homes and offices, and is now in advanced automotive testing, as Lingrove extends ekoa into car interiors. ekoa is also available in a format with hidden transparency enabling backlighting effects and/or options for capacitive touch (see video). “The demand for reinventing mobility with sustainable ekoa interiors is incredibly strong”, says Joe Luttwak, CEO of Lingrove. “After years of R&D and investment, our high-performance, beautiful, ekoa is ready to meet our customers’ commitments to defossilise their vehicles – while transitioning their interiors to feel like living room spaces”. Increasingly, customers are demanding healthy and sustainable interiors, without sacrificing luxury and beauty – at all price points. Automobile OEMs look to innovators like Lingrove to deliver the right products to their design and CMF teams. ekoa on the Palisade doors reflects Hyundai Motor Group and HATCI’s commitment to sustainability and its confidence in the market demand for applying naturetech in even the toughest design challenges. AT/MT Info See a video-clip | bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/23] Vol. 18 17

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