With clearly defined CO2 goals, the BMW Group intensifies its fight against climate change: This announced Oliver Zipse, the CEO of BMW AG, recently at a press event in Munich. The focus of the directional strategy is on the one hand a drastic CO2 reduction per vehicle until the year 2030. On the other hand, the BMW Group massively prevail in the course of the introduction of the “new class” the use of secondary material and a more sustainable circular economy. This is especially true for the “1.5 degree target” to limit global global warming.
“We set new standards for sustainable premium quality. For this we re-think materials, put our focus even more targeted on resource-saving material alternatives and renewable materials with a pronounced disassembly capacity, “says Dr. Stefan Floeck, Head of Development Body, Exterior and Interior. In addition, stain is since the 1. September responsible for the mini and compact class product line at BMW. And on, “We’re going to consistently go a consistent way – to a holistically sustainable product development, the responsible use of resources and transformation to a circular economy.”
The goal: more natural raw materials and recyclates
The use of renewable raw materials is nothing new in the automotive industry. BMW has also been based on renewable raw materials in its vehicles for several years – so far, for example, in door panels in the form of a natural fiber mat paired with plastic, which ensures the necessary stability. Renewable raw materials such as natural fibers are not only 30 percent lighter than the alternative material plastic, but also go into the CO2 calculation with a negative value in the CO2 calculation, as they take BMW in the growth phase CO2 and emit oxygen. This is the reason why the Group with its partners has consistently developed the use of fibers such as hemp, kenaf or flax and have provided natural fiber lattice structures. But thanks to support structures such as plastic, it is still possible to obtain the mechanical properties and to save further weight through a reduced material insert. Thus, wood also offer as a renewable raw material many areas of application, which is why the bays of fresh wooden foams fresh. According to press release from a open-pored structure, consisting of finely crushed wood particles. The strength of the foam arise through wooden binding forces, which should make it possible to renounce synthetic adhesives. The good: According to their own BMW, the foams thus consist of 100 percent of renewable raw materials and could replace acoustic foams in the future.
In addition, the automotive builders already set up to 100 percent plastic recyclat in their thermoplastic components. Together with innovative plastic manufacturers, the further development of plastic recyclates and bioplastics with a significantly reduced CO2 footprint worked. For this purpose, in addition to plastic recyclates, the company uses biocased plastics and plastics with natural fiber reinforcement such as cellulose, hemp, wood or bamboo to reduce the proportion of petroleum-based primary plastic. “The goal is to use thermoplastic plastics with a recyclat content of 40 percent by the year 2030,” it continues to say.
Use of new textiles and organic artists
New vegan and resource-saving leather alternatives are another important part of the research work. Artificial leather with bio-based raw materials, 100 percent recycled polyester textile and cork particles are intended to reduce CO2 emissions compared to today’s PVC artificial leather by up to 45 percent. In cooperation with the startup Adriano di Marti S.A de C.V. If the BMW Group explores a sustainable material based on cactus. The so-called “DesertTex” consists of powdered cactus fibers and a biocased polyurethane matrix. A likewise promising alternative to leather is the completely recyclable “mirum”, which should imitate all the properties of traditional leather, yarns and foams. The development happens according to BMW with the startup company “Natural Fiber Welding”.
For research, especially synthetic textile variants, which are used for the large part for seat covers. They have a low CO2 footprint and can be made from 100 percent recycled material. Thanks to their composition, they can always be supplied to a circulation during their product life cycle and used multiple times. BMW also wants to use more monomaterials instead of multilayer, multimaterial approaches. In a seat, for example, the reference and the underlying foam today are from different materials. These can not be easily separated or recycled into a new material used in the vehicle. The different connections between the materials also play a roll such as adhesives and yarn. If both parts consist of the same material, a recycling in the sense of the circular economy is possible. In addition, new techniques will also be used to give textiles a new appearance. These include new 3D structures, applications, patterns and graphical elements.
With these and other measures, the BMW Group wants to sharpen the general awareness of sustainable materials and provide transparent insight into their circular path to a sustainable future – just “with the aim of taking 2030 CO2 emissions over the lifecycle of our products by more than 40 To reduce percent “.
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