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Dutch students build electric car using recycled Israeli waste

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The electric vehicle, nicknamed ‘Luca,’ was designed and built as part of a project by the student team at the Eindhoven University of Technology

By ILANIT CHERNICK

A car created using recycled waste sounds like something from the future, right?

Well, a group of students from Eindhoven in the Netherlands has done just that using recycled waste from Israel.

The electric vehicle, nicknamed “Luca”, was designed and built as part of a project by the student team at the Eindhoven University of Technology. Their aim was to show that a working vehicle can be made entirely from recycled materials that would otherwise be viewed as garbage. 

The students applied for a Dutch government vehicle license so that this newly developed prototype could travel on state roads. 

Discussing the process, CEO of UBQ Materials Israel Jack (Tatu) Bigio said that the Dutch students used a plastic substitute made with with their unique Israeli technology called UBQ Materials, which was developed at southern Israel’s Kibbutz Tze’elim. 

“The recycling plant at the kibbutz receives a variety of waste from Israeli households, including food scraps, plastics of various kinds, paper products and even dirty diapers,” he said. 

During the manufacturing process, the waste materials are broken down into the most basic components all the way down to the molecular level. 

This, Bigio said, creates an innovative raw material, which is an environmentally friendly plastic substitute.

He explained that this futuristic vehicle built by the students “illustrates the way in which plastic can be replaced in any field with environmentally friendly raw material. 

“The technology we have developed knows how to address waste of various types that are currently not recycled and find their way to landfills,” Bigio said. “Contrary to popular belief, even untreated organic manure creates environmental pollution for up to 20 years or more due to continuous gas emissions.” 

He stressed that this is why “the use of recycled materials reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps companies around the world meet the requirements for reducing the environmental footprint they create.”

According to Bigio, the plastic substitute is currently being used in a wide range of products including logistics products like boxes, transport pallets, bins, luxury car parts, as well as construction products including pipes, roofs, panels, flooring. 

He added that even the trays at Mcdonald’s restaurants are made from these materials, and for 3D printing. 

The Israeli company has signed a cooperation agreement with the global automotive corporation Daimler to integrate its raw recycled material into its production processes.

UBQ Materials, which was founded in 2012, is planning to open more factories in the United States and the Netherlands. 

The product has also been certified as the greenest thermoplastic material in the world by  leading environmental impact assessment company, Quantis.

*Featured Image: The team of Dutch students pose with electric car ‘Luca,’ which they built out of Israeli recycled waste. (Photo Credit: Bart van Overbeeke)

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