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Manufacturer seeks to lower cost of kenaf

Markets | June 1, 2009 | By:

Kenaf fibers work well for automotive interior door trim, seat backs and other parts, but cost 30 percent more than comparable polypropylene materials. Toyota Boshoku, Aichi, Japan, a manufacturer of auto interior materials, aims to lower the cost of kenaf within three years: in part because it absorbs tons of CO2, a greenhouse gas, and in part because it is 30 percent lighter than polypropylene, saving on fuel costs. The company has invested in kenaf plantations in Indonesia and plans to mold kenaf products in Japan, Thailand, China and the U.S. Kenaf is currently used in the Toyota Camry and Lexus, and will soon be used in Toyota’s new compact hybrid.

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