Ford Is Developing Foam And Plastic Vehicle Parts Made With Captured CO2
19 May 2016
Ford Motor Company recently announced a new formulation for foam and plastic components using carbon dioxide as feedstock.
Formulated with up to 50 percent CO2-based polyols, the foam could potentially reduce the company’s petroleum use by more than 300,000 tons annually. These polyols are based on the co-polymerization of carbon dioxide and epoxides.
The company also produced a video about this particular process as well as its commitment to sustainable manufacturing:
The company states that it already uses a number of other sustainable materials in its vehicles, including:
Coconut fiber trunk liners
Recycled tires for mirror gaskets
Recycled T-shirts and denim for carpeting
Recycled plastic bottles for Ford’s REPREVE fabric
Sustainability: A Growing Concern for Manufacturers
It’s no longer enough to just produce a quality product—consumers care about how those products are manufactured. This is especially true in the automotive industry, where increasing sales of hybrid and electric vehicles emphasize the demand for green products.
Producing more electric vehicles is one path to sustainability, but the environmental impact of the automotive industry goes beyond internal combustion engines. Plastics and foams used in seating and underhood applications also contribute to the consumption of fossil fuels in the form of feedstocks.
Ford began working with several companies, suppliers and universities in 2013 to find applications for captured carbon dioxide. In this case, the company is using a polymer produced by Novomer.
Ford researchers expect to see the new material in production vehicles within five years.
Source : engineering.com