Manufacturing News from the Engineered Designer Perspective

One sweet ride: a biodegradable auto made of sugar beets and flax — but what about mice?

Gifted students from Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, developed Lina, a car with a biodegradable body made of sugar beets and flax. Previously, many cars have used vegetable-based resins for upholstery and dash board components, but this group of engineers devised a way to create rigid body panels out of bio-composite sheets. Not just the bodywork, but the chassis and interior are all natural veg-based products.

 

Lina, the world’s first entirely biodegradable car, with interiors made of sugar beets and body made of flax bio-resin. This featherweight, of course, is electrically powered.

 

Weighing in at a feather-light 300 kilograms, the only worries might be animals with a sweet-tooth and strong winds. The honeycomb structure, made of bioplastic, is made rigid by a core of sugar beet, enveloped in composite sheets made of flax. The panels and materials are roughly the weight of equivalent fibreglass — but, of course, with the bio-sustainable stamp of approval.

 

Students at Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands, working on the vegetable-based car.

 

A prototype car debuted during Dutch Technology Week, following which the “sweet ride” has been on tour of Netherland roads.

Hopefully, they’ve added some rodent-deterrent. In America, some auto owners have complained that their veg-based upholstery has encouraged mice to take up residence in their cars. Assuming they achieve rodent-proofing, they might be on to something big.

 

Lina being built.

 

The Eindhoven University of Technology student team is made up of a promising student-engineers with a focus on environmentally responsible technologies. The team of ten focuses on energy, health and mobility challenges. Other projects include a solar-powered family car, household drones, new fuels based on formic acid, and a “house of the future.” The group also led to the start-up of Amber Mobility, a company who rolled out the first self-driving cars in the city of Eindhoven.

 

The LIna team at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands.

 

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