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Issue 07/2022 Special Edition

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Highlights: Advanced Recycling Carbon Capture & Utilisation

Automotive Strategic

Automotive Strategic partnership leverages sustainable solutions for automotive sector The global pandemic that defined 2020 triggered a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions due to lockdowns and stayat-home measures which dramatically, albeit temporarily, decreased the use of automobiles. This is noteworthy because 2020 was also the year that the Paris Agreement went into effect. Adopted in 2015 in accord with the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCC), the Paris Agreement addresses the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions in response to global climate change. China and India – the countries with the most and third most CO 2 emissions, respectively – are among UNFCC members that have ratified or acceded to the agreement. China is the largest producer of automobiles, followed by Japan, Germany, India, and South Korea. In a year when everyone’s focus was on surviving a health crisis, the world’s most sweeping regulations on climate change quietly took effect. Governments, NGOs, and corporations released their own goals, pledges and targets to drive down emissions on the road to midcentury carbon neutrality. Crisis creates opportunity Against this backdrop of sustainability aspirations and COVID-related chaos, global materials provider Eastman (Kingsport, Tennessee, USA) and Gruppo Maip (Turin, Italy), a leading international plastics formulator and compound producer, announced a strategic partnership to positively impact the environment. Together, the venerable industry leaders are creating new sustainable polymer solutions for automotive interior applications. These new polymers will enable automotive OEMs to meet aggressive targets for sustainable content and replace petroleum-based materials. It’s a win-win at a time when the COVID-19 crisis has led to cost-cutting measures which don’t allow for investments in new products and technology. Technological breakthroughs lead to innovative products Fortunately for OEMs, in 2019, Eastman became the first company to begin commercial-scale molecular recycling for a broad set of mixed-waste plastics that would otherwise be landfilled or, worse, wind up in the environment. Eastman Advanced Circular Recycling technologies offer a range of both biobased and molecular-recycled content solutions, including Tritan Renew copolyester and Trēva Renew engineering bioplastic. Tritan Renew is powered by Eastman’s polyester renewal technology and delivers up to 50 % certified recycled content diverted from post-consumer and post-industrial waste streams. Tritan Renew is enabled through Eastman’s carbon renewal technology, a unique process that breaks down waste plastic back into its basic chemical building blocks. Unlike traditionally recycled plastics, Tritan Renew offers the same high performance as virgin plastics. Trēva Renew is a mix of cellulose esters, the cellulose of which is derived from sustainably harvested trees. Trēva Renew offers up to 48 % biobased content which is certified by the USDA’s BioPreferred ® program. In addition, Trēva Renew benefits from carbon renewal technology that uses mixed waste plastic, providing an additional 23 % certified recycled content as an alternative to polycarbonate, ABS and PC-ABS and other materials typically used for interior and exterior applications. Via its Advanced Circular Recycling technologies, Eastman produces circular products that are certified by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) by mass balance allocation. For more details about Trēva Renew and Eastman’s carbon renewal technology in automotive applications see bM 01/2020) Gruppo Maip develops a wide range of high-tech engineered thermoplastic materials with a focus on specialty colours and technical solutions that require filled and reinforced custom formulation development. In partnership with Eastman, MAIP is now developing specialty compounds using Tritan Renew and Trēva Renew to create new sustainable formulations for a variety of interior applications, including accent trim, both moulded in colour and decorated, speaker grills, centre console trim, door handles, knobs, pillars, overhead consoles and lighting, both ambient and diffusive. Through Eastman’s circular recycling technologies and Gruppo Maip’s formulations, OEMs will now be able to specify content and recycled-content plastics in critical interior Class A components, such as moulded-in-colour interior trim, bringing a new level of sustainability to the automotive industry. The road to net zero calls for collaboration The automotive industry is at a watershed moment. Electrification, autonomous technologies and shared mobility are just a few of the challenges facing automotive OEMs and suppliers. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, the top 20 OEMs in the global auto sector saw profits plummet by USD100 billion in 2020 due to repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis. This is generational disruption. How it all plays out is still to be determined. However, one thing is certain: transformation is essential to survival. Government regulation, consumer preferences and investor demands are forcing companies in carbon-intensive sectors to align with the sustainability goals of the Paris Agreement. Automotive industry players must work together to reduce fossil carbon in transportation. | By: Chris Scarazzo Automotive Segment Market Manager Eastman, Kingsport, Tennessee, USA 10 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/21] Vol. 16

Luca, the world’s first Zero-Waste Car Automotive Every year, Netherland-based student company TU/ ecomotive produces an electric car with a team of 21 BA students from the Eindhoven University of Technology, with the aim of showing the world that the hypothetical, sustainable car of the future, can be a reality today. The design of the sixth TU/ecomotive car, Luca, was revealed October 8, 2020. With this zero-waste car, the team wants to show that waste can be a valuable material with a multitude of applications. The car reaches a top speed of 90 km/h and a range of 220 kilometres. A great deal of Luca’s efficiency comes from its lightweight construction: the car only weighs 360 kg without and around 420 kg with batteries. Luca is made of materials that are normally thrown away. The chassis of Luca consists of a unique sandwich panel that the students have developed in collaboration with several companies. The sandwich panel consists of three layers: the two outer layers which are made from a combination of flax fibres and PP taken from the ocean, and a middle layer, namely a PET honeycomb core. The front and rear parts of the chassis are made out of a tube frame from recycled aluminium. The seat cushions are made of coconut fibre and horsehair, and the fabric surrounding the cushions is made out of recycled PET but looks and feels like suede. Luca’s body was manufactured by TU/ecomotive out of UBQ material. UBQ is a patented novel climate-positive material created by Israeli start-up UBQ Materials, based in Tel Aviv, that can substitute conventional plastic, wood, and concrete in the manufacturing of everyday products. UBQ is a proprietary composite, the world’s first biobased material made of unsorted organic, paper, and plastic waste – everything from banana peels to dirty diapers to used yoghurt containers and cardboard. The central value proposition of using UBQ is its sustainability metrics, significantly reducing and even neutralizing the carbon footprint of final applications. By diverting household waste from reaching landfills, UBQ prevents the emission of methane, groundwater leakage, and other toxins. A new Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study conducted by Switzerland-based sustainability consulting firm Quantis, meeting ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 standards, demonstrates the climate-positive environmental footprint of transforming unrecyclable Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) destined for landfilling into UBQ. The LCA shows that UBQ’s environmental impact at a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 20 years is – 11.69 kg CO 2 –eq per kg UBQ. This means that for every 1 kg of UBQ created, almost 12 kg of CO 2 -eq are prevented from polluting the environment over a 20-year period. Quantis concluded that “to the best of our knowledge, UBQ is the most climate-positive thermoplastic material in the market today”. This isn’t the first time UBQ is used in automotive manufacturing. In early 2020, UBQ Materials announced its collaboration with Daimler, manufacturer of Mercedes-Benz, for the implementation of UBQ in car parts and throughout Daimler’s supply chain. Luca is designed to be highly energy efficient. The car’s in-wheel motors mitigate losses in the drivetrain, and the two electric motors have a combined power of 15 kW, powered by six modular battery packs. The packs are easily replaceable so that when new technology is available in the future they can be seamlessly substituted by full packs and more modern batteries. The next step for TU/ecomotive is to obtain a license plate for Luca. By ensuring that the car is road legal, the team wants to prove that sustainable innovation is readily available to implement across the automotive industry. AT | Luca (Photo: Bart van Overbeeke Fotografie) Luca interieur (Photo: TU/ecomitive) bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/21] Vol. 16 11

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