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GM Converts 100+ Miles Of Oil Soaked Boom Into Volt Parts

General Motors says it has developed a method to convert oil-soaked, plastic absorbent booms floating in the Gulf of Mexico after last spring's BP oil spill into parts for the Chevrolet Volt.

GM estimates it will save more than 100 miles of boom material off the Alabama and Louisiana coasts from the nation's landfills.

The ongoing project is expected to create enough parts to supply the vehicle's first production run.

"Creative recycling is one extension of GM's overall strategy to reduce its environmental impact," said Mike Robinson, vice president of environment, energy and safety policy at GM. "We reuse and recycle material byproducts at our 76 landfill-free facilities every day. This is a good example of using this expertise and applying it to a greater magnitude."

One of GM's partners, Heritage Environmental, collected the boom material along the Alabama and Louisiana coasts. Mobile Fluid Recovery stepped in next, using a massive high-speed drum that spun the booms until dry and eliminated all the absorbed oil and wastewater. Lucent Polymers used its patented process to then manipulate the material into the physical state necessary for plastic die-mold production so that tier-one supplier GDC could convert the resin into auto parts.

The components, which aid in vehicle air flow and water deflection, are typically comprised of post-consumer recycled plastics and other polymers, and recycled tires from GM's Milford Proving Ground. Now, 25 percent of the composition includes the boom material.

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.

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