Hemp, Flax Growing as Auto Plastics Building Blocks
Ford’s Mielewski says almost 300 parts in automaker’s vehicles derived from sources including flax, soybeans, cotton, wood, jute and natural rubber.
Auto-components researchers are developing the use of grasses such as hemp or flax to make tough but lightweight bioplastics that also help reduce a vehicle’s carbon footprint by using a renewable resource.
A key innovator is Bruce Dietzen, president of Renew Design, a Florida-based company that produces custom-ordered cars whose body parts are made from processing the outer stalk of hemp plants through combining it with a synthetic resin and placed in a mold.
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