Toyota will become the world’s first automaker to use biohydrin, a newly-developed biosynthetic rubber, for engine and drive system hoses. Jointly developed by Toyota, Zeon Corporation, and Sumitomo Riko Co., Ltd., biohydrin is manufactured with plant-derived materials instead of epichlorohydrin, a commonly-used epoxy compound.
The first vehicles to use vacuum sensing hoses made from biohydrin rubber will be produced next month. All Toyota automobiles manufactured in Japan are expected to use them by the end of the year.
The automaker expects a 20 percent reduction in carbon emissions by using the hoses.
Engine and drive system hoses require a particularly high level of oil and heat resistance. Since epichlorohydrin offers exceptional oil, heat, heat aging, and ozone resistance, along with gas permeability, it is commonly used in the production of rubber for components like hoses.
Production of biohydrin rubber uses a variety of compound technologies for bonding plant-derived materials with petroleum-derived materials at the molecular level. This ensures biohydrin rubber provides the levels of resistance and durability required for vacuum sensing hoses.
Toyota plans to include biohydrin on other rubber components like brake and fuel line hoses.
Using biohydrin rubber is one of the environmental goals outlined by the automaker in October 2015, commonly referred to as the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050.
*Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.