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Motherson Group collaborating with UBQ to bring carbon-negative thermoplastics into auto parts

Global automotive Tier 1 manufacturer Motherson Group is collaborating with Israeli cleantech company UBQ Materials. The companies are joining efforts to implement the carbon-negative UBQ thermoplastic (earlier post) into auto parts manufactured by Motherson Group for the automotive industry.

UBQ is a patented material converted from 100% unsorted household waste, containing food leftovers, mixed plastics, paper, cardboard, packaging materials and diapers. The unsorted waste stream is reduced to its most basic natural components and then reassembled and bound together into a matrix, creating a novel climate-positive material with applications across industries.


Targeting the plastic industry first, and leveraging the material’s thermoplastic affinity to polymers, they company developed several commercial grades of UBQ material. These are suited for injection, extrusion and compression molding. UBQ material can be mixed with olefin, styrene and chlorine-based resins and additives, tailoring its physical characteristics to final-part requirements by using compatibilizers common in the industry. UBQT material is segmented into two main groups:

  • UBQ GHG Neutralizer Additives. UBQ GHG Neutralizer additives enable processors to directly compensate cO2-equivalent emissions (GHG) generated by plastic polymers. Polymers typically emit 1.9 to 3.5 kg of CO2-e per kilogram during their production process. UBQ GHG Neutralizers, conversely, offset on average 15 times their weight of CO2-e.

    Adding as little as 10% UBQ GHG to a part can immediately transform it into a carbon-neutral product. UBQ GHG is added to product formulations as a Master Batch Additive. It is available in different grades compatible with olefin, styrenic and chlorine based resins.

  • UBQ Industrial Grade. As a bio-based composite thermoplastic material, UBQ Industrial Grade can replace plastic polymers in hundreds of applications. UBQ Industrial Grade is the preeminent environmental material which can substitute oil- and plant-based polymers as well as wood. UBQ Industrial Grade is typically used in concentrations of 30% to 100% of the finished product weight. UBQ Industrial Grade is competitive, sustainable and recyclable.

By diverting landfill-destined waste, UBQ prevents the emission of methane, groundwater leakage and other environmental harms. Every ton of UBQ produced prevents 11.7 tons of CO2-eq from polluting the environment, leading Life Cycle Assessment auditors Quantis to designate UBQ as “The Most Climate Positive Thermoplastic Material on the Market.”

In February 2020, UBQ Materials embarked on its first partnership in the automotive industry with Daimler (earlier post). As a result of successful progress and advanced developments, UBQ Materials was introduced to Motherson. Motherson selected UBQ Materials as an innovation partner in Plug and Play’s Startup Autobahn, a platform that connects emerging technologies to pilot opportunities with multinational corporations.

Motherson is looking to provide sustainable solutions to aid in their customers’ sustainability commitments.

Motherson is a global tier-one manufacturer and supplier to the industry and as such, we are very conscious of continually seeking ways to be more sustainable, to reduce the environmental impact of our business, and to look for ways of increasing use of recycled and sustainable materials.

—Barrie Painter, EVP, Global Sales and Marketing and Strategic Technology at Motherson

We have embarked on a very ambitious project. Automotive standards are demanding and we aim to be an approved raw material in a wide scope of applications in the automotive industry.

—Sophie Tuviahu, VP of Business Development and Sales at UBQ Materials

Motherson is currently testing and evaluating the incorporation of UBQ in the production of a range of interior and exterior automobile parts. Following further trials and examinations, Motherson and UBQ intend to see this collaboration through to serial production.

The Motherson Group is a globally operating supplier providing full system solutions to the automotive industry, from design, simulation and prototyping to tooling, moulding, painting and final assembly of highly integrated modules. The group was founded in 1975 and is today one of the world’s fastest-growing automotive component makers. Its business portfolio comprises a broad range of superior quality and aesthetic products for all large car manufacturers worldwide such as cockpits, bumpers covers, rearview mirrors, camera systems, lighting systems, decorative interior and exterior trims, wiring systems, air management systems and off-highway vehicle cabins.

Motherson also produces refrigeration systems, machined and sintered metal parts, elastomer parts, cutting tools, thin-film coating metals and injection moulding tools and provides comprehensive IT and design engineering services to various industry segments.

The Motherson Group is one of the 22 largest automotive suppliers worldwide, employing more than 135.000 people in more than 270 locations in 41 countries on five continents.


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