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Toyota to mash plants into parts for your car’s next engine

toyota  prius
Miles Branman/Digital Trends

Toyota really wants to go green — so it’s putting greens directly in cars.

The world’s largest automaker will take new steps to reduce its carbon footprint across its entire vehicle line, a press release announced, revealing Toyota’s plans to incorporate biohydrin, a recently developed biosynthetic rubber, into its engine and drive system hoses.

Biohydrin rubber was developed in a partnership between Toyota, chemicals manufacturer Zeon Corporation, and trade corporation Sumitomo Co., Ltd. The material is derived from plants and will replace the more commonly used epichlorohydrin epoxy compound. When compared to conventional petroleum-based hydrin rubber, these bio-materials reduce life-cycle carbon emissions by about 20 percent, since plants naturally absorb CO2.

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Engine and drive system hoses are subject to wear and tear from heat, oil, ozone, and other fluids and atmospheric conditions. As such, they are commonly constructed of epichlorohydrin rubber, which has a high resistance to corrosion.

Vacuum_sensing_hose_production_process

Biohydrin rubber is composed of a variety of compound technologies that bond plant-derived materials with petroleum-based materials at the molecular level. The quality and level of mass production is comparable to conventional hydrin rubber and can be used in commercial vehicles. With this method of manufacturing, the biohydrin vacuum sensing hoses maintain the required levels of resistance to oil and heat while maintaining durability.

In October 2015, the company introduced the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, a collection of environmental targets. The company outlined its plans to contribute to reducing waste globally through its own innovations as well as influencing others.

Starting in May, some Toyota vehicles will use vacuum hoses made from biohydrin rubber. The automaker plans to use this material in all vehicles built in Japan by the end of the year. Toyota plans to eventually use biohydrin in other demanding rubber components, such as brake hoses and fuel line hoses. In addition, materials such as ecological plastic will see development and commercial use.

Now that’s going green.