SAO PAULO, BRAZIL—Fibres from certain fruits could soon replace traditional plastic in automobiles, according to media reports from this week’s National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.
Researchers in Brazil have found a new way to use nanucellulose fibres from fruits such as bananas in the manufacturing of plastic.
They say the nanocellulose reinforced-plastic is more resistant to heat, water and spilled gasoline, compared to petroleum-based plastic. It’s also 30 per cent lighter.
In just a few years, they expect it could be used in the production of auto parts, such as bumpers and side panels. It could even replace steel and aluminum parts. There are also applications in the medical device industry.
Promising fruits include pineapple, banana, coconut, and closely-related plants.