December 19, 2007

Green Autopia

I am shamelessly self-promoting my article about greener automobiles, which just came on out December 17 and was published on ICIS Chemical Business magazine (Did I mention before that I work for ICIS?).

According to my interviews with several chemical companies, the global automotive industry is really becoming more green not only because of the use of alternative fuels but by changing the entire parts of a vehicle to make it more fuel efficient and environment-friendly.

Cars are now using lighter weight materials such as plastic as alternative to metals; engine catalysts are becoming more efficient in lowering emissions of toxic exhaust and particulates; solvent-free paints and coatings are being designed to reduce thermal buildup in a car's interior; rubber compounds in tires are designed to reduce rolling resistance; and biobased materials such as soybean-based foams and starch-based fibers for car seats, and vegetable oil/animal fat-based motor oils and lubricants are expected to become popular.