Consortium to develop bioplastics from sawdust / Plastic alternative for auto parts
A consortium led by biorefinery technology group Sonichem (Leicester, UK; has been awarded a GBP 600,000 (EUR 702,000) grant to fund a project that seeks to turn sawdust into a raw feedstock material to be used to make automotive parts.

The consortium aims to develop bio-based lignin for use in automotive parts manufacturing (Photo: Pexels/Sarmad Mughal)

Following backing by the UK government’s innovation department, Innovate UK, the consortium will work to develop lignin – a family of organic polymers that give trees and other plants their strength – as the basis for bio-based platform chemicals, creating alternatives to conventional petrochemical-derived plastics used in vehicle parts.

Sonichem said the Innovate grant would cover more than 70% of the estimated cost of its ‘carbon-neutral agroforestry-derived resins to materials for automotive’ (Carma) applications project, with the remaining amount being funded by several members of the consortium. 

Related: Dutch firms set to create bioplastics from agri-food side streams

“Having substantial financial support will allow our multidisciplinary group of stakeholders to develop and commercialise bio-based feedstocks for the transport industry, with the aim of establishing a one-of-a-kind, resilient lignin supply chain within the UK that will support net-zero vehicle manufacturing,” it added.

The Carma project will be undertaken jointly with the Centre for Process Innovation, UK resin maker Scott Bader (Wollaston;, the UK’s National Composites Centre (Bristol;, Swedish electric vehicle manufacturer Polestar (Gothenburg; and SHD Composites (Sleaford, UK;
21.02.2024 [254649-0]
Published on 21.02.2024

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