TOKYO—Toyota Motor Corp. will start using a new biosynthetic rubber product in its engine and drive system hoses as of May.
According to an April 21 release, the product was jointly developed by Toyota, Zeon Corp. and Sumitomo Riko Co. Biohydrin rubber is manufactured using plant-derived bio-materials instead of epichlorohydrin, a commonly-used epoxy compound.
The first vehicles to use intake hoses made from biohydrin rubber will be produced in May, with applications expected to be rolled out to all Toyota cars manufactured in Japan by the end of the year.
Toyota said that the production of biohydrin rubber uses a variety of compound technologies for bonding plant-derived materials with petroleum-derived materials at the molecular level.
The biohydrin rubber can provide the levels of oil resistance, heat resistance, and durability required for vacuum sensing hoses in engines and drive systems.
According to Toyota, the rubber is also similar to conventional petroleum-based epichlorohydrin rubber in terms of quality and mass producibility, allowing for large-scale use in commercial vehicles.
Toyota claims that the newly-developed bio-material can reduce lifecycle carbon emissions by around 20 percent compared to conventional petroleum-based alternatives because plants absorb CO2 from the atmosphere while growing.
Toyota said it plans to expand the use of biohydrin to other high-performance rubber components such as brake and fuel line hoses in the future.