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GM Building Parts for Chevrolet Volt from BP Oil Spill Booms

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GM Building Parts for Chevrolet Volt from BP Oil Spill Booms

MONDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2010

Chevrolet_Volt_Components_Recycled_Boom_Material-01.jpg

The new Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car is doing its part in improving the environment by making the best use of the oil that was spilled into the Gulf of Mexico from the BP Deepwater Horizon rig. To explain, General Motors has began recycling oil-soaked plastic booms from the notorious spill into components for the Volt.

The Detroit-based automaker said it has developed a method to convert an estimated 100 miles of the material off the Alabama and Louisiana coasts into more than 100,000 pounds of plastic resin that will be used for parts that deflect air around the vehicle’s radiator.

These parts are comprised of 25 percent boom material and 25 percent recycled tires from GM’s Milford Proving Ground vehicle test facility, with the remaining percentage covered by a mixture of post-consumer recycled plastics and other polymers.

“Creative recycling is one extension of GM’s overall strategy to reduce its environmental impact,” said Mike Robinson, GM vice president of Environment, Energy and Safety policy. “We reuse and recycle material by-products at our 76 landfill-free facilities every day. This is a good example of using this expertise and applying it to a greater magnitude.”

If GM hadn't used the oil-soaked booms for parts, they would have been incinerated or sent to landfills.

“This was purely a matter of helping out,” said John Bradburn, manager of GM’s waste-reduction efforts. “If sent to a landfill, these materials would have taken hundreds of years to begin to break down, and we didn’t want to see the spill further impact the environment. We knew we could identify a beneficial reuse of this material given our experience.”

According to the automaker, the ongoing project is expected to create enough plastic under hood parts to supply the first year production of the new Chevy Volt.

link:

http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2010/12/gm-building-parts-for-chevrolet-volt.html

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Chevy Volt components to be built from Gulf of Mexico's oil-soaked booms [w/video]

by Jeremy Korzeniewski (RSS feed) on Dec 20th 2010 at 7:25PM

There's really no way to positively spin the disaster that took place in the Gulf of Mexico when BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded and leaked untold millions of gallons of oil into the ocean. That said, it seems that General Motors has figured out a way to "creatively recycle" an estimated 100 miles of oil-soaked plastic boom material.

If not recycled, much of this material would likely have ended up in landfills, and we'd much rather see it reused under the hood of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt than buried under the ground to rot way over several lifetimes. Specifically, GM will mold radiator air deflectors from plastic that's made up of 25 percent recycled boom material and 25 percent recycled tires, with the remaining 50 percent "a mixture of post-consumer recycled plastics and other polymers."

Enough of the boom material has apparently been collected to fill GM's needs for these plastic parts over the Volt's entire first year of production, and it's likely that these recycling efforts will continue to other models in the automaker's portfolio. See the recycled boom material used in the Volt in our image gallery below, and check out a video along with the entire press release after the break.

[source: General Motors]

Show full PR text

Chevrolet Volt Components Created from Gulf of Mexico Oil-Soaked Booms

100,000 Pounds of Waste Saved from the Nation's Landfills

2010-12-20

DETROIT – Oil-soaked plastic boom material used to soak up oil in the Gulf of Mexico is finding new life as auto parts in the Chevrolet Volt.

General Motors has developed a method to convert an estimated 100 miles of the material

off the Alabama and Louisiana coasts and keep it out of the nation's landfills. The ongoing project is expected to create enough plastic under hood parts to supply the first year production of the extended-range electric vehicle.

"Creative recycling is one extension of GM's overall strategy to reduce its environmental impact," said Mike Robinson, GM vice president of Environment, Energy and Safety policy. "We reuse and recycle material by-products at our 76 landfill-free facilities every day. This is a good example of using this expertise and applying it to a greater magnitude."

Recycling the booms will result in the production of more than 100,000 pounds of plastic resin for the vehicle components, eliminating an equal amount of waste that would otherwise have been incinerated or sent to landfills.

The parts, which deflect air around the vehicle's radiator, are comprised of 25 percent boom material and 25 percent recycled tires from GM's Milford Proving Ground vehicle test facility. The remaining is a mixture of post-consumer recycled plastics and other polymers.

GM worked with several partners throughout the recovery and development processes. Heritage Environmental managed the collection of boom material along the Louisiana coast. Mobile Fluid Recovery stepped in next, using a massive high-speed drum that spun the booms until dry and eliminated all the absorbed oil and wastewater. Lucent Polymers used its process to then manipulate the material into the physical state necessary for plastic die-mold production. Tier-one supplier, GDC Inc., used its patented EndurapreneTM material process to combine the resin with other plastic compounds to produce the components.

The work in the Gulf is expected to last at least two more months and GM will continue to assist suppliers in collecting booms until the need no longer exists. The automaker anticipates enough material will be gathered that it can be used as components in other Chevrolet models.

"This was purely a matter of helping out," said John Bradburn, manager of GM's waste-reduction efforts. "If sent to a landfill, these materials would have taken hundreds of years to begin to break down, and we didn't want to see the spill further impact the environment. We knew we could identify a beneficial reuse of this material given our experience."

The world's first electric vehicle with extended range, the Chevy Volt was recently awarded Green Car of the Year by Green Car Journal.

GM is dedicated to reducing its waste and pollutants, and recycles materials at every state of the product lifecycle. It uses recycled and renewable materials in its cars and trucks, which are at least 85 percent recyclable. Used tires, old plastic bottles, denim and nylon carpet are all redirected from landfills and reused in select GM vehicles.

GM facilities worldwide recycle 90 percent of the waste they generate. The automaker recently announced more than half of its worldwide facilities are now landfill-free – all manufacturing waste is recycled or used to create energy.

About General Motors – General Motors Company (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM), one of the world's largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 209,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in more than 120 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 31 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Daewoo, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall, and Wuling. GM's largest national market is China, followed by the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and Russia. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. General Motors acquired operations from General Motors Corporation on July 10, 2009, and references to prior periods in this and other press materials refer to operations of the old General Motors Corporation. More information on the new General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.

link:

http://www.autoblog.com/2010/12/20/chevy-volt-components-to-be-built-from-gulf-of-mexicos-oil-soak/

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GM Recycles Waste From Gulf Oil Spill For Use In Chevy Volt

Maker’s efforts save 100 miles of booms from going into landfills.

by Joseph Szczesny on Dec.20, 2010

Oil-soaked booms from the Gulf of Mexico are transformed into plastic parts for the Chevy Volt.

General Motors’ efforts to burnish the Chevrolet Volt’s “clean and green” image have now extended into the oil-soaked waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The maker has been able to recycle the polypropylene plastics used in the oil booms that were set out to contain and capture the oil spilled by a runaway British Petroleum well. In all, about 100 miles of booms were recovered and reused, according to Mike Robinson, GM vice president of Environment, Energy and Safety policy.

GM and its suppliers are turning the re-cycled material into plastic parts used in the Volt, such as a shroud for the radiator, Robinson said.

“Creative recycling is one extension of GM’s overall strategy to reduce its environmental impact,” Robinson said, noting that the maker already finds ways to eliminate landfilling at 76 of its facilities. The recycling of Gulf oil booms, he added, “is a good example of using this expertise and applying it to a greater magnitude.”

The oil-soaked booms pulled from the Gulf are put through a centrifuge process that removes the oil and water before they are shipped on to a GM supplier, which recycles the raw material, a plastic known as polypropylene, into plastic resin pellets.

Chris Miller vice president of sales and market for GDC Inc. of Goshen, Indiana, said material from the old booms is mixed with other recycled material, including used tires, to yield a plastic resin which can be shaped into a variety of plastic parts.

“The recycled resin is a lot less expensive than virgin resin,” he said.

In fact, GM’s Robinson described the overall process as “cost-neutral,” meaning the final parts and components cost it the same as those produced by more conventional processes.

Recycling the booms will result in the production of more than 100,000 pounds of plastic resin for the vehicle components,” said John Bradburn, manager of GM’s waste-reduction efforts, eliminating an equal amount of waste that would otherwise have been incinerated or sent to landfills.

“This was purely a matter of helping out,” said John Bradburn, manager of GM’s waste-reduction efforts.

“If sent to a landfill, these materials would have taken hundreds of years to begin to break down, and we didn’t want to see the spill further impact the environment. We knew we could identify a beneficial reuse of this material given our experience,” Bradburn added.

The project demonstrates the booms, which are also widely used around construction projects and limited spills, don’t have to buried or burned but can be recycled, said Bradburn, who noted it also should encourage the manufacturers of the booms to make them easier to recycle.

Besides GDC, GM worked with several partners throughout the recovery and development processes. Heritage Environmental managed the collection of boom material along the Louisiana coast.

Mobile Fluid Recovery stepped in next, using a massive high-speed drum that spun the booms until dry and eliminated all the absorbed oil and wastewater. Lucent Polymers used its process to then manipulate the material into the physical state necessary for plastic die-mold production.

link:

http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2010/12/gm-recycles-waste-from-gulf-oil-spill-for-use-in-chevy-volt/

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Gulf oil booms get new life in Volt

Melissa Burden / The Detroit News

Plastic boom material that soaked up oil in the Gulf of Mexico has found a new use as components in General Motors Co.'s high-tech Chevrolet Volt car.

Recycling the booms means producing more than 100,000 pounds of plastic resin for vehicle components, Mike Robinson, GM vice president of environment, energy and safety policy, said Monday. The booms are floating tube-like barriers that contained the leaking oil.

Reusing the booms means, he said, "about 100,000 pounds of waste was avoided through our recycling project."

"Watching the spill in the Gulf unfold, we wanted to do something to help if we could," Robinson said. "We take great pride in what we're able to accomplish through our recycling and landfill-free initiatives."

The parts, which deflect air around the vehicle's radiator, are composed of 25 percent boom material and 25 percent recycled tires from GM's Milford Proving Ground.

The remaining is a mixture of post-consumer recycled plastics and other polymers, GM said.

There is enough boom material to supply the Volt for at least a year, and GM said it may be able to use the material in other air-deflecting parts under the hood in other Chevy models.

Robinson, speaking with reporters on a teleconference, said the use of the recycled product doesn't add to the production cost of the Volt, which went on sale this month.

"The customer's not going to be impacted at all," he said.

The Detroit automaker worked with several partners and suppliers on the project, including Heritage Environmental Services.

Heritage managed the collection of boom material along the Louisiana coast after the April 20 explosion on a BP-leased deep sea oil well that subsequently leaked an estimated 200 million gallons of oil.

It also worked with Mobile Fluid Recovery, which used a fast drum to dry the booms and eliminate any oil and water, and with Lucent Polymers to "densify" the material, said John Bradburn, manager of GM's waste reduction efforts.

Finally, Tier 1 supplier GDC Inc. made the Volt parts out of the recycled material, Robinson and Bradburn said.

Robinson said GM reuses and recycles byproducts at 76 landfill-free facilities every day.

GM facilities across the world recycle 90 percent of their waste.

More than half of the automaker's worldwide facilities are landfill-free.

"Creative recyling's in our blood," Robinson said. "It's a team sport at General Motors."

Staff writer Christine Tierney contributed.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20101221/AUTO01/12210321/Gulf-oil-booms-get-new-life-in-Volt#ixzz18kn6rMow

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