Yan Feng/Prisma collaborate on plant-based lignin for vehicle interiors

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

Yan Feng/Prisma collaborate on plant-based lignin for vehicle interiors

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 we use 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 is said to improve 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."

Set up in 2015, Yanfeng Automotive Interiors (YFAI) is headquartered in Shanghai and has approximately 110 manufacturing plants and technical centres in 19 countries and more than 33,000 employees globally. It is a joint venture between Yanfeng, one of the largest automotive suppliers in China and Adient, the global leader in automotive seating.

Prisma Renewable Composites is a biomaterials company that creates composite materials, including carbon fibres and polymers, all of which contain lignin, a highly renewable organic polymer. In June 2018, Domtar Corp. acquired a majority stake in Prisma.


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