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SK Chemicals' Eco-Friendly Material Applied to Hydrogen Cars

SK Chemicals' Eco-Friendly Material Applied to Hydrogen Cars

SK Chemicals announced on the 12th that its proprietary, environmentally-friendly composite copolyester will be applied to next-generation hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV, or more specifically, HFCEV). 

This composite copolyester (brand name: SKYTRA), an eco-friendly material featuring enhanced properties, is an upgraded version of SK Chemicals' original copolyester (second in the world to be successfully commercialized) and contains raw bio materials extracted from corn. 

The eco-friendly characteristics of this composite copolyester have proven to be the perfect match for next-gen FCEVs. 

Hydrogen vehicles are driven by electric motors that are fueled by electricity generated from a chemical reaction using oxygen from the air and compressed hydrogen in fuel cells. Because no fossil fuels are burned, they are 100% pollution-free, eco-friendly vehicles that emit only pure water. Moreover, FCEVs are equipped with a high-performance air filter for clean oxygen intake, serving a dual function of purifying the air. The effect is a reduction of 20 mg of fine dust per FCEV for every kilometer driven. 

SK Chemicals' composite copolyester was also applied to official FCEVs of the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games. 

The material was applied to vehicle interior parts such as steering wheels, window switch panels, door trims, and center consoles of event-use FCEVs. The current global trend is shifting toward eco-friendly materials in vehicle interiors, as such materials are often in direct contact with human skin in fully enclosed environments. Looking toward the future, SK Chemicals plans to supply its composite copolyester for the interiors of about 3,000 vehicles annually for the next five years for a total of 15,000 FCEVs, or equal to about 1,000 tons of material. 

In 2015, SK Chemicals' composite copolyester was approved for the New Excellent Technology certification by the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards. SK Chemicals plans to expand the application of its next-gen material to various vehicle models and parts through continued development. 

According to an industry source, the market for eco-friendly automotive interiors, to which the composite copolyester can be applied, is estimated to be about ₩300 billion ($282 million USD) worldwide. The market size has shown to be growing by more than 4% every year in accordance with the current eco-friendly trend of automobile manufacturers. 

Copolyester: SK Chemicals' copolyester PETG (second in the world to be commercialized) is a transparent and chemically-resistant material without bisphenol A, an environmental hormone, and is mainly used in food container and automobile interior applications.  

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