Vehicles are composed by different materials and a noticeable and fundamental fraction of them (20% w/w) is constituted by plastic material, among which polyurethanes. PU is fundamental since, thanks to its properties, it enables to reduce the overall weight of the car, resulting also in a lower fuel consumption. More and more vehicles’ manufacturers and suppliers are betting on biobased alternatives derived from renewable raw materials, but a biobased plastic able to mimic technical properties of PUs as well as to provide the required aesthetics and haptics has not been developed yet. The BIOMOTIVE project is paving the ground towards the production and subsequent market penetration of biobased automotive interior parts with enhanced technical performance, improved environmental profile and economic competitiveness, with the aim of replacing the fossil-based, non-biodegradable counterparts. Within the project, innovative and advanced biobased materials with an increased biobased content (60-80%), i.e. thermoplastic polyurethanes, 2-components thermoset polyurethane foams and regenerated natural fibres, will be produced starting from renewable biomass feedstock not in competition with food and feed, leveraging innovative production techniques. Such materials will be validated into cars’ interior parts (door handles and automotive seats) demonstrating advanced properties in terms of resistance to fire, mechanical strength and flexibility as well as improved recyclability of the end-of-life products. The project also aims at demonstrating an innovative process for the production of 100% biobased NIPUs, with moisture-repellant properties. The involvement of external industrial players thorough targeted dissemination events will pave the ground to the widening of the market applications of the developed biomaterials: regenerated fibres from paper-grade wood pulp into textile production and biobased TPUs in nature based solutions within the construction sector.

This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 745766