” A 308 contains 5 kilos of our plastic part, including a kilo of hemp produced in Franche-Comté explains Jean-Marie Bourgeois-Jacquet, business development engineer at APM. A range of 16 production vehicles (Lan Rover Velar, Jaguar I-Pace, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Renault Mégane, Peugeot 308, DS Crossback, etc.) built-in ports or consoles. This indirectly represents a fleet of 13 million vehicles.
a local supply
In an increasingly volatile plastics market, hemp remains a stable solution. Especially since it is produced locally, in Arc-les-Gray, in Haute-Saône, a few kilometers from the Fontaine-les-Dijon processing site, by farmers from the Interval Cooperative.
” Despite the raw materials crisis, we managed to guarantee the supply of hemp to our customers, thanks to this local production. », assures Jean-Marie Bourgeois-Jacquet.
APM, which employs 35 people, controls the entire value chain: from the production of the seed, to the plastic parts, through the harvesting of the plant, the separation of the various hemp co-products and the mixing of the different ingredients. 8,000 tons of material leave the factory each year, half of which includes hemp.
hemp is back
” In terms of CO2 absorption, one hectare of hemp is equivalent to one hectare of forest “says Jean-Marie Bourgeois-Jacquet. Long neglected, or reserved for animal feed, hemp is a crop that is regaining its nobility letters. It should be said that he ticks all the boxes: the seed grows without irrigation, without GMOs and without phytosanitary products; its roots penetrate deep into the soil (ideal for yielding subsequent crops); is not in competition with arable land », explains Jean-Marie Bourgeois-Jacquet. The applications are now multiple. Hemp has also returned to human food, accounting for 11% of world production. ” Even hemp powder is reusable! “, he underlines.
From technique to aesthetics
“Per kilo, pellets that incorporate hemp are about 25% more expensive,” says Jean-Marie Bourgeois-Jacquet. However, because it is a lighter material than petroleum-based plastic, less material is needed to create the parts. Ultimately, the cost to the customer evens out. In addition to this technical advantage, hemp plastic has other properties, such as thermomechanical reinforcement. “Up until then it was mostly used in discrete parts, now our customers are asking us more and more to develop the aesthetic aspect to enhance the presence of plant particles. » Currently, the automotive market represents 85% of APM’s turnover – which amounts to 10 million euros. The company targets other sectors such as furniture, construction, toys and sports and leisure. ” We are currently working with designers who want to move towards more virtuous approaches. says Jean-Marie Bourgeois-Jacquet.
Duplicate the model internationally
Already present for export in the European market and in other countries, such as Japan, China, Turkey or Argentina, APM wants to duplicate its economic model in Asia and North America. ” To stay on the short-circuit logic, our goal would be to be able to grow hemp in these countries and then sell it there. », explains Jean-Marie Bourgeois-Jacquet. ” The gateway to these markets will continue to be the automotive sector. “, he continues.
The main challenge will be to be able to maintain a stable biomass production that guarantees the same specifications regardless of the place of production…