Working with specialist Japanese companies, Mitsubishi will by mid-2012 add to its lineup of proprietary plant-based "Green Plastic" products a new type of floor mat, made using plant-based bio-polyethylene (bio-PE) fibre.
Bio-PE is a plant-based resin made from sugarcane molasses, a thick syrup produced in refining raw sugar. With an eye on using less petroleum-based plastics and cutting CO2 emissions, Mitsubishi has developed the fibre for use in floor mat piling. The new fibre has a core-sheath structure: a bio-PE core is sheathed in conventional petroleum-based polypropylene , allowing it to meet the required high levels of abrasion and heat resistance performance.
Mitsubishi calculates that the new floor mat achieves a 15 percent cut in life-cycle CO2 emissions over mats made from polypropylene fibre only.
Petroleum-based plastics are widely used in car parts, and Mitsubishi is developing a series of plant-based "Green Plastics" to replace them. Current Green Plastics products include materials made from liquefied wood-based phenolic resins and interior surface materials which combine PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and cotton fibres.