Skip to main content


Log in

Advanced biopolymers for automobile and aviation engineering applications

  • Review Paper
  • Published:
Journal of Polymer Research Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Various petroleum-based polymers are being widely used in the automobile and aviation industries. However, the scarcity of petroleum-based polymers, their lack of biodegradability, and stringent environmental regulations lead researchers to look for green biopolymers/biocomposites as an alternative to petroleum-based polymers. Biopolymers have potential applications in various exterior and interior parts of an automobile, including steering, doors, wheels, electrical components, engine parts, exhaust systems, and so on. Almost all automakers are currently focusing on developing novel biopolymers, and they have successfully used bio-based materials in their newer version of automobiles, eventually replacing petroleum-based polymers. However, biopolymer uses in the aviation industry are not yet widespread because of stricter property requirements. Some advanced biopolymers are applied in interior aircraft panels, waste and drainage systems, engine components, cockpits, portholes, windshields, aircraft tires and inner tubes, exterior lighting, and helicopter windscreens. These materials are expected to substitute traditional plastics with the help of modifying agents, cutting-edge manufacturing technology, and a reliable supply chain of biopolymers. This review discusses the current practices, recent advances, and prospects of biopolymers in automotive and aviation engineering applications.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Zhao D, Zhou Z (2014) 9 - Applications of lightweight composites in automotive industries. In: Yang Y et al (ed) Lightweight Materials from Biopolymers and Biofibers. ACS Publications, pp 143–158

  2. Tseng SCW (2013) Using bio-based materials in the automotive industry. M.Sc. Thesis. University of Windsor, Windsor, ON, Canada

  3. Mochane MJ et al (2020) The effect of filler localization on the properties of biopolymer blends, recent advances: A review. Polym Compos 41(7):2958–2979

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Abilash N, Sivapragash M (2013) Environmental benefits of eco-friendly natural fiber reinforced polymeric composite materials. Int J Appl Innov Eng Manag 2(1):53–59

    Google Scholar 

  5. Muller KS, Farr JV (2015) Cost benefit analysis of biopolymers, petroleum-based polymers, and traditional soil stabilization methods. White Paper 2015-1. West Point, NY: Department of Systems Engineering, USMA

  6. Chauhan A, Chauhan P (2013) Natural fibers and biopolymer. J Chem Eng Process Technol 6:1–4

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Sampath UGT et al (2016) Fabrication of porous materials from natural/synthetic biopolymers and their composites. Materials 9(12):991

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Rahman MZ (2021) Mechanical and damping performances of flax fibre composites–A review. Compos Part C Open Access 4:1–18

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Rahman MZ (2017) Static and dynamic characterisation of flax fibre-reinforced polypropylene composites. PhD Thesis, The University of Auckland, New Zealand

  10. Rahman MZ, Jayaraman K, Mace BR (2018) Impact energy absorption of flax fiber-reinforced polypropylene composites. Polym Compos 39(11):4165–4175

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Gao X et al (2022) Structural and mechanical properties of bamboo fiber bundle and fiber/bundle reinforced composites: a review. J Market Res 19:1162–1190

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Gao X et al (2021) Preparation of nano-xylan and its influences on the anti-fungi performance of straw fiber/HDPE composite. Ind Crops Prod 171:113954

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Fakirov S et al (2014) Single polymer composites of poly (B utylene Terephthalate) microfibrils loaded with carbon nanotubes exhibiting electrical conductivity and improved mechanical properties. Macromol Mater Eng 299(7):799–806

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Rahman MZ, Mace BR, Jayaraman K (2016) Vibration damping of natural fibre-reinforced composite materials. In Proceedings of the 17th European Conference on Composite Material, Munich, Germany, pp 26–30

  15. Feng G et al (2022) A review on mechanical properties and deterioration mechanisms of FRP bars under severe environmental and loading conditions. Cement Concr Compos 134:104758

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Niaounakis M (2015) 6 - automotive applications. In: Niaounakis M (ed) Biopolymers: Applications and Trends. William Andrew Publishing, Oxford, pp 257–289

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  17. Zhang D (2014) 1- Lightweight materials from biofibers and biopolymers. In: Yang Y (ed) Lightweight Materials from Biopolymers and Biofibers. ACS Publications, pp 1–20

  18. Chand N, Fahim M (2008) 1 - Natural fibers and their composites. In: Chand N and Fahim M (ed) Tribology of Natural Fiber Polymer Composites. Woodhead Publishing, pp 1–58

  19. Fentahun MA, Savas M (2018) Materials used in automotive manufacture and material selection using ashby charts. Int J Mater Eng 8(3):40–54

    Google Scholar 

  20. Rogers T (2015) Everything you need to know about Polylactic acid (PLA). Everything You Need To Know About Polylactic Acid (PLA) 7

  21. Werchefani M et al (2020) Enzyme-treated Tunisian Alfa fibers reinforced polylactic acid composites: An investigation in morphological, thermal, mechanical, and water resistance properties. Polym Compos 41(5):1721–1735

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. Tshai K et al (2014) Hybrid fibre polylactide acid composite with empty fruit bunch: chopped glass strands. J Compos 2014(987956):1–7

  23. Khan T et al (2020) A review on recent advances in sandwich structures based on polyurethane foam cores. Polym Compos 41(6):2355–2400

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. Flexible foam market - growth, trends, covid-19 impact, and forecasts. Available from: Accessed 15 Aug 2022

  25. Bio-Polyamide Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (PA 6, PA 66, Specialty Polyamide) By Application, By End use (Textile, Automotive, Coating, Sports, Industrial, Electronics), And Segment Forecasts, 2018 - 2025. Available from: Accessed 16 Aug 2022

  26. Bledzki AK, Faruk O, Jaszkiewicz A (2010) Cars from renewable materials. Kompozyty 10(3):282–288

    Google Scholar 

  27. Stephen M (2010) Automotive: Green gets in gear. Available from: Accessed 12 Aug 2022

  28. Garrett DW, Owens GR (1995) Polyphthalamide resins for use as automotive engine coolant components. SAE Technical Paper

  29. Kemmish DJ (2011) Practical guide to high performance engineering plastics. Smithers Rapra

  30. Rusu D et al (2011) 15 - Bioplastics and vegetal fiber reinforced bioplastics for automotive applications. In Pilla S (ed) Handbook of Bioplastics and Biocomposites Engineering Applications. Scrivener Publishing LLC, pp 397–449

  31. Shen L, Haufe J, Patel MK (2009) Product overview and market projection of emerging bio-based plastics PRO-BIP 2009. Report for European polysaccharide network of excellence and European bioplastics 243:1–245

  32. Bhagabati P (2020) Biopolymers and biocomposites-mediated sustainable high-performance materials for automobile applications. Sustainable nanocellulose and nanohydrogels from natural sources. Elsevier, pp 197–216

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  33. Rahman MZ (2013) Fabrication, morphologies and properties of single polymer composites based on LLDPE, PP, and CNT Loaded PBT. Masters Thesis, The University of Auckland, New Zealand

  34. Brady M, Brady P (2008) Reinforced plastics autoepcon 2007. Cell Polym 27(1):65–66

    Google Scholar 

  35. Kurian JV (2005) 15 - Sorona® Polymer: Present status and future perspectives. In: Mohanty A K et al (ed) Natural Fibres, Biopolymers and Biocomposites. CRC Press, pp 503–530

  36. Introduction to BioPBS™. Available from: Accessed 15 July 2022

  37. Hoque ME et al (2016) The effect of naturaldegradation on the mechanical and morphological properties of tropical woods. Cellul Chem Technol 50(7–8):723–730

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  38. Cuffari B (2017) Cellulose Nanofiber Automotive Components. Available from: Accessed 13 June 2022

  39. Andresen C et al (2012) Biobased automobile parts investigation. A report developed for the USDA Office of energy policy and new uses

  40. Biopolymers and industry: The automotive sector. Available from: Accessed 2022

  41. Shurtleff W, Aoyagi A (2016) History of Soybean crushing: Soy oil and soybean meal. From unpublished manuscript. History of Soybeans and Soyfoods 1100

  42. Martino J 10 x Stronger than steel In the 1940’s: Henry Ford’s HEMP Car. Available from: Accessed 11 May 2022

  43. McCann-Erickson I (1941) Ford completes first plastic body as steel goes on priority list. Penobscot Building, Detroit, Michigan

  44. Soybean Car - The Henry Ford. Available from: Accessed 10 May 2022

  45. Mielewski D et al (2017) Ford’s driving role in the bio-based materials age. In: Madden O et al (ed) The Age of Plastic: Ingenuity and Responsibility. Proceedings of the 2012 MCI Symposium, pp 99–108

  46. Sustainability. Available from: Accessed 19 Aug 2022

  47. Mazda Öko-Kunststoff für Stoßfänger. Available from: Accessed 20 Aug 2021

  48. Biopolymers in automotive interiors : a step towards sustainability. Available from: Accessed 8 July 2021

  49. Platt DK (2006) Biodegradable polymers: Market report. Available from: Accessed 9 Sept 2021

  50. Akampumuza O et al (2017) Review of the applications of biocomposites in the automotive industry. Polym Compos 38(11):2553–2569

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  51. Prodanović S, Milutinović M (2017) Some applications of biomaterials in automotive industry. Adv Appl Ind Biomater. Springer, pp 1–20

    Google Scholar 

  52. Niaounakis M (2013) 1 - Introduction to Biopolymers. In: Niaounakis M (ed) Biopolymers Reuse, Recycling, and Disposal. William Andrew Publishing, Oxford, pp 1–75

    Google Scholar 

  53. Bouzouita A et al (2017) Poly (lactic acid)-based materials for automotive applications. Ind Appl Poly (lactic acid) 177–219

  54. Wang R-M, Zheng S-R, Zheng Y-P (2011) Introduction to polymer matrix composites. Polym Matrix Compos Technol 1:548

    Google Scholar 

  55. Mohan S et al (2016) Biopolymers–application in nanoscience and nanotechnology. Recent Adv Biopolym 1(1):47–66

    Google Scholar 

  56. Vidal R et al (2018) Life cycle assessment of novel aircraft interior panels made from renewable or recyclable polymers with natural fiber reinforcements and non-halogenated flame retardants. J Ind Ecol 22(1):132–144

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  57. Tanasa F, Zanoaga M (2012) Polymer based hybrid materials for aerospace applications. Sci Res Educ Air Force-AFASES 1

  58. Fernandez CR (2018) Airbus will use recombinant spider silk to build lightweight planes. Available from: Accessed 8 Sept 2021

  59. Arockiam NJ, Jawaid M, Saba N (2018) Sustainable bio composites for aircraft components. Sustainable composites for aerospace applications. Elsevier, pp 109–123

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  60. Ghori SW et al (2018) The role of advanced polymer materials in aerospace. Sustainable composites for aerospace applications. Elsevier, pp 19–34

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  61. Wright W (1991) Polymers in aerospace applications. Mater Des 12(4):222–227

    Article  Google Scholar 

  62. Meng J, Wang Y (2015) Effect of xenon arc lamp irradiation on properties of polymethyl methacrylate for aviation. Open J Org Polym Mater 5(01):23

    Article  Google Scholar 

  63. Chassenieux C et al (2013) 1 - Biopolymers: State of the art, new challenges, and opportunities. In: Thomas S et al (ed) Handbook of Biopolymer-based Materials: From Blends and Composites to Gels and Complex Networks. Wiley‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co., pp 1–6

  64. Rathna G, Ghosh S (2011) 11 - Bacterial polymers: resources, synthesis and applications. In: Kalia S and Avérous L (ed) Biopolymers: Biomedical and Environmental Applications. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, pp 291–316

  65. The aircraft of the future: biomimicry and Airbus' vision. Available from: Accessed 9 Aug 2021

  66. Hăloiu A, Iosif D (2013) Bio-source composite materials used in automotive industry. Sci Bull Automot Ser 24:57–61

    Google Scholar 

  67. Hoque ME et al (2018) Polycaprolactone (PCL) based synthetic biopolymers for modern scaffold-based tissue engineering. Int J Appl Sci Res Rev

  68. Sharif A, Mondal S, Hoque ME (2019) Polylactic acid (PLA)-based nanocomposites: Processing and properties. Bio-based Polym Nanocompos. Springer, pp 233–254

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  69. Njuguna J, Pielichowski K (2013) The role of advanced polymer materials in aerospace. Res Gate 148

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Md Zillur Rahman or Md Enamul Hoque.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

This is to confirm that there is no conflict of interest to disclose.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Springer Nature or its licensor (e.g. a society or other partner) holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Rahman, M.Z., Rahman, M., Mahbub, T. et al. Advanced biopolymers for automobile and aviation engineering applications. J Polym Res 30, 106 (2023).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI: