"Noah is the proof that PLA is suitable for so much more than packaging."
News from the Netherlands where the world’s first bio-based, circular car has been successfully designed and built by the Technical University of Eindhoven. This is the first time that a car chassis and all bodywork has been made from natural and bio-based materials - no metal or traditional plastics were used for the structural parts of the car. The parts are made up of light and strong sandwich panels, based on natural fiber flax and Luminy PLA supplied by Total Corbion PLA, a technology leader in Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) and lactide monomers. The car, named Noah by the TU/ecomotive student team, features two seats and a spacious trunk. Noah was revealed earlier this month and is currently undertaking a European tour of car manufacturers, suppliers and universities to inspire others.
In addition to its bio-based composition, it is also ultra-light and electrically-powered. Noah reaches a top speed of 110 km p/h and the battery range lasts up to 240 km. At 360kg, the weight of the car excluding batteries is less than half the weight of comparable production cars. In addition to being bio-based, the parts are also recyclable, resulting in a 100% circular car, sustainable in all life phases.
The PLA supplied by Total Corbion PLA for use in the car is bio-based and recyclable and made from renewable resources, offering a reduced carbon footprint versus many traditional plastics. High heat Luminy PLA grades were used to construct the car, in order to ensure durability and sufficient heat resistance.
François de Bie, Senior Marketing Director at Total Corbion PLA ( @TotalCorbionPLA ) , is pleased with the achievement: ‘The result of this fantastic project shows just how far bio-based materials have come, to produce such a complex product as a car. Noah is the proof that PLA is suitable for so much more than packaging. This is the first ever car to feature a fully bio-based chassis and body panels. At Total Corbion PLA, we look forward to working together with the entire value chain to bring more high performance, durable and circular applications to market’.
This isn’t the first bio-based car we’ve covered this year, in February we covered UPM’s Biofore Concept Car where the majority of parts traditionally made from plastics have been replaced with high quality, safe and durable biomaterials – such as UPM Formi bio-composites and UPM Grada thermoformable plywood material. The vehicle also runs on UPM’s wood-based renewable diesel and weighs approximately 150kg less than equivalent vehicles.
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Download: Bio-Based World Quarterly issue #10.