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GM uses oil-soaked boom from Gulf of Mexico to make Chevy Volt parts

December 20, 2010 |  8:29 pm

Boom The plastic boom material used to soak up oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico is being repurposed in the plug-in hybrid electric Chevrolet Volt.

General Motors said Monday that it was using more than 100,000 pounds of the plastic for under-hood parts that would deflect the air around the vehicles’ radiators.

The material would otherwise be sent to landfills or burned.Volt

Boom will be used in about a quarter of each part, mixed in with recycled tires, reused plastics and polymers, according to General Motors. Plastic pulled in from the gulf will supply enough resin for the Volt parts for at least a year.

The first Volt was sold in an online auction earlier this month to a Chevrolet dealer, who shelled out $225,000. The funds will be donated to the Detroit Public Schools Foundation.

The Volt is now gradually rolling out to the general market. 


First production Chevrolet Volt rolls off line into an auction

Review: Chevy Volt — electrifying

-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo (top): Oil-soaked boom on the beach at Port Fourchon, where BP cleanup crews work to bag the toxic material. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

Photo (bottom): A row of 2011 Chevy Volts is shown at a Chevrolet dealership in Los Angeles. Credit: Nick Ut / Associated Press