Auto meets agriculture to replace plastics


Fran Elenbaas and a team of engineers at Johnson Controls are looking for ways to incorporate bio-based materials — soy, corn, hemp, linseed or coconut — in automotive applications as a replacement for petroleum-based plastics and as a weight-reducing option to help achieve better efficiency  PHOTO: JOE BOOMGAARD

By Joe Boomgaard | MiBiz

HOLLAND — Automobiles of today have been described as computers on wheels.

They have back-up cameras, seat warmers, cylinder deactivation technology, antilock brakes and sophisticated electronic stability control systems.

With all that embedded technology, it might come as a surprise that many automakers and their suppliers are turning to soy, corn, coconut, hemp and linseed for feedstock materials for various parts throughout the vehicle.

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