There's more that one way to green a car
, and many of the most interesting technological advancements don't involve powering an internal combustion engine. Consider that much of the fabric, plastic and rubber that goes into a car's construction is derived from petroleum, and you see why alternatives are becoming increasingly attractive. Automakers have taken up corn-based plastics
and soy-based seat foam
, and now the latest greenery comes by way of defatted soy flour. The latter is an organic substance that's being considered as a replacement for the petroleum-based "carbon black" rubber particles that are currently specified in the vast majority of tires.
The technology has a long way to go before we could be driving on soybeans, and there are likely issues involving using a possible feedstock as a petroleum replacement (again
) that will need to be worked out. Still, as pressure builds to abandon the use of petroleum in as many ways as possible, advancements are likely to become a bigger part of our day-to-day transportation needs.