The Nova Institute has updated its reference study for the automotive and insulation industry.
Natural fibres such as flax, hemp, jute and kenaf are used in large quantities in the automotive industry to reinforce plastics, showing a low carbon footprint compared with glass and mineral fibres.
The production of 1 tonne of glass fibres shows a carbon footprint of 1.7-2.5 tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-eq) per tonne of fibre, whereas natural fibres have a carbon footprint of 0.35–0.55 tonnes CO2-eq per tonne of fibre (up to the factory gate, excluding transport to the customer, using mass allocation) – an 80% lower carbon footprint than that of glass fibres.
However, the initial advantage of natural fibres over glass fibres decreases until the final product, because further processing steps partly worsen their carbon footprint. Nevertheless, natural fibre composites have around a 50% lower carbon footprint compared with glass fibre composites.
For the full story, see the May 2019 edition of MobileTex. Not a subscriber? Sign up HERE