Toyota biohydrin rubber

Beginning next month, Toyota will use biohydrin, a newly-developed biosynthetic rubber product, in its engine and drive system hoses. The imminent move makes it the world’s first carmaker to do so, an important step in meeting a range of environmental targets outlined by Toyota in October 2015.

Biohydrin rubber uses plant-derived bio-materials instead of epichlorohydrin, a commonly-used epoxy compound. As plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, using such bio-materials can result in an estimated 20% reduction in material lifecycle carbon emissions (when compared to conventional petroleum-based hydrin rubber).

The eco-friendly rubber is jointly developed by Toyota, Zeon Corporation, and Sumitomo Riko Co., Ltd., and the first Toyota vehicles to use vacuum sensing hoses made from biohydrin rubber will be produced in May, with usage expected to be rolled out to all Toyota automobiles manufactured in Japan by the end of this year.

According to Toyota, engine and drive system hoses require a particularly high level of oil and heat resistance. Production of biohydrin rubber uses a variety of compound technologies for bonding plant-derived materials with petroleum-derived materials at the molecular level.

Through these technologies, biohydrin rubber is capable of providing levels of oil resistance, heat resistance, and durability required for vacuum sensing hoses in engines and drive systems. In the future, Toyota plans to expand the usage of biohydrin to other high-performance rubber components, such as brake hoses and fuel line hoses.