New movement toward eco-friendly paints

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It’s clean, it’s environmentally kind and it’s utterly indistinguishable from ordinary car paint.

But sometimes a technological innovation just makes you blink.

BMW and the global coatings supplier BASF are partnering to create vehicle paints out of bio-waste from sewage treatment plants.

The organic material replaces traditional petroleum-based building blocks, such as naphtha.

The solution will be used at BMW’s factories in Leipzig, Germany, and Rosslyn, South Africa.

The companies claim the resulting corrosion protection and matte paint process lowers CO2 emissions by 40 percent.

BMW also points out that the process reduces the total consumption of fossil resources and avoids emissions associated with the production, transport and processing of crude oil.

“As we strive to secure the most sustainable supply chain in the automotive industry, we are working with all our suppliers to pinpoint potential CO2 savings,” Dirk Bubenheim, head of plastics, chemical products and process materials at BMW, said in an emailed reply to Automotive News Europe.

Bubenheim said that paints made using biomass are chemically identical, which means they can be used in production at short notice, reducing carbon emissions in the supply chain right away.