Adding to its lineup of proprietary plant-based "Green Plastic" products, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (MMC), working with EIDAIKAKO Co. Ltd., MRC Pylen Co. Ltd., and Toyota Tsusho Corp., has developed a new floor mat made using plant-based bio-polyethylene (bio-PE) fiber. The company plans to start production of the new floor mats in the summer of 2012.
Bio-PE is a plant-based resin made using sugarcane molasses. The company has developed the bio-PE fiber for use in floor mat piling with a view to reducing the use of petroleum-based plastics and cutting CO2 emissions. Unlike conventional petroleum-based floor mats, the fiber in the new floor mat has a core-sheath structure in which the bio-PE core is covered with a conventional petroleum-based polypropylene (PP) sheath. This allows it to meet the high levels of performance demanded of car floor mats, including abrasion and heat resistance. In-house calculations indicate that the new bio-PE fiber floor mat achieves a 15 percent reduction in life-cycle CO2 emissions over a similar mat made of petroleum-based PP fiber alone....