Cars Made From Flax
The French automotive group, PSA, has begun using components made from natural materials. PSA makes Citroens and Peugeots.
The bio-car plan has three elements:
- the use of bio-polymers, recycled materials and natural fibers.
In fact the inner door panels are made up of 50% flax, and side mirror mountings and radiator caps contain hemp instead of glass fiber. Plastic bottles and bottle caps are ground up and added to small proportions of glass fiber to produce windshield wipers and mudflaps. The tights worn by women are usable for reprocessing and blending with glass fiber to make non-structural hard plastic parts under the hood.
What are bio-polymers?
Bio-polymers are polymers that are produced by living organisms. This includes DNA and RNA, proteins and peptides, and cellulose and starch. Bio-polymers have been around billions of years longer than synthetic polymers like plastics.
All this falls under the automaker's "Green Materials Plan" set up in 2008. The objective is to implement a six-fold increase in natural and renewable materials used in all vehicles by the year 2015. The plan will bring about a marked reduction in cost savings as well as in reducing energy use, carbon dioxide emissions, and go a long way towards the conservation of non-renewable resources.
Surprise! This was done in the USA over 100 years ago!
PSA wants to replace plastics made from oil. Surprisingly, the introduction of materials made without mineral oil was done here in the USA on Model T Ford cars between 1908 and 1927. Some parts of the car were made from soya polymers. Henry Ford demonstrated how strong the material was on a prototype car by taking a sledge hammer to it - leaving the car unscathed - but the production plans were scrapped.
Why Use Hemp?
Hemp is already abundant in France. It is cheap and grows without pesticides and fertilizers. In fact, hemp was once a major crop in the USA. George Washington used enslaved African people to grow hemp (See link below).
Hemp is hemp is hemp?
What kind of hemp? According the natural-fiber specialist at PSA, the hemp grown for this purpose is not the same strain of hemp that is grown as marijuana. The natural fiber specialist at PSA points out that it would take about two tons of the material used for cars to make a joint.
For information about legal hemp and other "green living" ideas, please see links below:
Early Hemp Farms
- Hemp Growing Was Once Required By Law in the US
Before you start growing your own hemp plants it is worthwhile to read up on the history of hemp growing in the US. At one time it was legal. Not only was it legal, the law required the growing of it. ...
There's always a Vespa!
- Shopping for a Vespa Scooter! Yay!
The Vespa motor scooter is a good-looking ride backed by technology, with an automatic twist n' go transmission, an upright riding position and a unique steel frame. The Vespa I purchase now will make the...
Some "Green Living" Ideas
- Are Low Energy Bulbs Harmful to Your Health?
Can low energy bulbs be harmful to your health? Yes, according to medical experts in the UK. While the bulbs are touted as requiring low energy and therefore lower costs to run, the issue of the high...
- Why You Should Never Use Vinyl Shower Curtains
Why shouldn't you use vinyl shower curtains? They are cheap, easy to find, and some may even be mildew-resistant. But they are also toxic. Vinyl (PVC - also known as polyvinyl chloride) shower curtains...
- What Are The Symptoms of CO (Carbon Monoxide) Poison...
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is nicknamed the silent killer. It is an odorless, colorless, tasteless, toxic gas; it is undetectable by human senses. If there is CO in the air you breathe, it will enter your blood...
- Is Your Toilet Paper Hurting You? Ow!
It all started innocently enough - my horror story. You just cannot run out of toilet paper - because it's just wrong. So one fine sunny day, on my way home, I knew all I had was what was hanging on the...
- Using Zero VOC Red Paint in My Living Room
this came out even better than I expected Our homes are filled with products that are toxic, and one of the worst products is paint. Generally, the paint we use has VOCs - or volatile organic compounds. VOCs...
More by this Author
Did you know that wool fabric is highly flame-resistant? This is why it is so often used to make clothes for firefighters and soldiers. Wool also has antibacterial properties, is resistant to dirt, and has many other...
It is now believed that indoor air is filthier than the air outdoors. So many of the products we bring into our homes are toxic. There are a number of safe ways to improve the quality of the air in your home.
Just what is a vinegar pie? And why would anyone think of making a pie with vinegar?