Companies collaborate to bring plant-based lignin technology to vehicle interiors

Yanfeng Automotive Interiors (YFAI) and Prisma Renewable Composites announced today that the companies have entered into an agreement giving YFAI exclusive use of Prisma’s lignin-based material in the development of automotive interiors.

Advantages of lignin-based BioLAN include cost, higher UV resistance, and higher tensile strength while reducing total greenhouse gas emissions.

Prisma's BioLAN material is produced using lignin, a natural byproduct of the pulp and paper making process. Lignin is essentially the “glue” that surrounds the cell walls of living plants like trees and grasses. It contains a vast amount of the world’s carbon and has the potential, if modified correctly, to replace many of the petrochemical-based products used in everyday life.

The agreement includes plans to introduce Prisma’s BioLAN material to YFAI’s broad customer base for use in various automotive interior applications. Prisma’s technology is a sustainable alternative to acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) plastic, which is used broadly in the automotive industry.

Through Prisma’s lignin technology, petrochemicals are partially replaced by natural polymers. The resulting BioLAN material improves on the key properties of traditional ABS plastic, including cost, higher UV resistance, and higher tensile strength while reducing total greenhouse gas emissions.

“YFAI continually looks outside of the industry for materials that not only have applicability for use in automotive interiors, but also are beneficial from a sustainability perspective,” said Jeff Stout, Executive Director, innovation and new mobility, North America, for YFAI. “We see great promise in the BioLAN material.

“Prisma and YFAI’s agreement is an important step forward in environmental stewardship and is one of the  first of its kind regarding this application for lignin,” said Adam McCall, Founder and CEO, Prisma Renewable Composites. “For decades, it has been the dream of many scientists to find a higher value purpose for lignin, due to its incredible potential.”

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