July 29, 2009

BIO Day 3 - Biobased auto parts growing

The last day of the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing event was as hectic as the previous two days, which unfortunately cut back my plans on a little bit of sightseeing trips (oh well, maybe next time).

I found myself attending a very interesting morning session about biobased chemicals being used by auto parts manufacturers such as Canadian General Tower (CGT), the Woodbridge Group, and Magna International's Decoma business.

CGT talked about replacing petroleum-based phthalate plasticizers with natural oil-based platicizers (e.g. soybean oil and castor oil) in auto seats and liner products. Ontario-based CGT supplies seat major auto manufacturers seat coverings and covering of moldable inserts, door panels and instrument panels.

CGT's Patrick Diebel presented their Vehreo coated fabric product that uses the bio-based plasticizers and a textile fabric made from 55% recycled PET water/soda bottles. Diebel said they are also looking at buying back their scraps, grind them to powder and reintroduce them to the foam layer of the seating products.

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