Detroit, Michigan – Plastic material used to soak up oil in the Gulf of Mexico will be recycled into new auto parts for the Chevrolet Volt. General Motors said it has developed a method to convert an estimated 160 kilometres of the oil-soaked material off the Alabama and Louisiana coasts and keep it out of landfills.
The ongoing project is expected to create enough plastic under-hood parts to supply the Volt for its first year of production. The recycling program will result in the production of more than 45,360 kilograms of plastic resin for the vehicle components. The parts, which deflect air around the vehicle’s radiator, are made of 25 per cent boom material and 25 per cent recycled tires from GM’s proving grounds test facility in Michigan. The remainder is a mixture of post-consumer recycled plastics and other polymers.
GM worked with several partners throughout the process, including Heritage Environment, which managed the collection on the coast; Mobile Fluid Recovery, which used high-speed drums to remove all absorbed oil and waste water; Lucent Polymers to manipulate the material into a state for plastic die-mold production; and tier-one supplier GDC Inc. which combined the resin with other plastic compounds to produce the components.