Ford testing eco-friendly foam and plastic for auto use

Ford testing eco-friendly foam and plastic for auto use image

Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: Ford | posted May 18, 2016 10:44

Implementation will reduce use of about 600 million pounds of petroleum

As fuel consumption and overall performance of modern vehicles get better and become more environmentally-friendly, it seems just about right that components and materials used in the auto-making process be developed with the same goal in mind.

Ford Motor Company has jumped on the opportunity reduce the carbon footprint it produces by being the ‘first automaker to formulate and test new foam and plastic components using carbon dioxide as feedstock.’

These biomaterials, formulated with up to 50-pecent CO2-based polyols, are already in the testing phase to see if it holds up to the rigorous tests in order to meet Ford’s performance standards.

If and when approved for implementation, these biomaterials will be used in seating and underhood applications, which will allow the automaker to reduce its use of more than 600 million pounds of petroleum and will also lessen their reliance on fossil fuel in the manufacturing process.

New environmentally-friendly plastic being made by Ford

“Ford is working aggressively to lower its environmental impact by reducing its use of petroleum-based plastic and foam. This technology is exciting because it is contributing to solving a seemingly insurmountable problem – climate change. We are thrilled to be leading the charge toward reducing carbon emissions and the effects of climate change,” said Debbie Mielewski, Ford senior technical leader of sustainability.

Plastic manufacturing accounts for nearly 4-percent of the world’s oil use, which contributes to the current global CO2 emission of 2.4 million pounds per second.

“At Ford, we’re aggressively developing new, more sustainable ways to produce high-quality products, with an eye toward preserving and improving our world,” added Mielewski.

Ford Motor Company expects to use the new biomaterials in Ford production vehicles within five years.