Magna and Bio-on enter cooperation
A new collaboration between automotive supplier Magna and Italy-based intellectual property company Bio-on will see the two companies start R&D activities on the use of bio-plastics for the automotive industry.
Bio-on has developed a new bio-plastic through the use of naturally occurring bacteria which feed off the by-products of sugar beets. During the fermentation process, the material is converted into a novel plastic (polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA)), which could provide alternatives to conventional plastics for the automotive industry. This bio-plastic is biodegradable in water and soil, environmentally friendly and does not rely on food as a natural resource.
The joint venture will combine Magna's automotive know-how with the chemical expertise of Bio-on to research how production of this natural polyester product can be elevated to an industrial, cost-effective scale. Additionally, the two companies will test and evaluate how Bio-on's bio-plastics will perform in different standard industry processes such as thermoforming.
'Our material has already demonstrated potential in diverse industries and we now want to apply it to the automotive sector as well,' says Marco Astorri, CEO and co-founder of Bio-on. "Through this partnership, Bio-on hopes to contribute significantly to meeting the global need for a greener future mobility, with lower environmental impact.'
President of Magna's interiors division Albert Lidauer adds: 'We are leveraging our manufacturing expertise to partner with Bio-on to deliver a potential game-changing innovation to the industry.'