Ford is claiming a big breakthrough when it comes to making more eco-friendly vehicles.
The automaker says it’s figured out how to make parts out of foams and plastics that contain recycled carbon dioxide.
The captured CO2 comes from manufacturing plants. It’s then converted into polymers and used in different materials, including easy-to-recycle plastics. Right now, these foams contain up to 50 percent CO2-based polyols. It’s developed the new material with the help of New York-based Novomer.
Ford hopes to start making parts with then new biomaterials within the next five years. It could be used in both cosmetic interior features and in underhood applications.
The whole goal is to shift from using petroleum-based plastics and foams to more environmentally friendly materials. Ford also estimates the new material could reduce its petroleum use by over 600 million pounds a year. That’s enough to fill around 35,000 U.S. homes.
“We are thrilled to be leading the charge toward reducing carbon emissions and the effects of climate change,” says Debbie Mielewski, Ford’s senior technical leader of sustainability.
Ford already uses soy foam in its North American vehicles. It also uses coconut fiber in trunk liners, recycled tires and soy in mirror gaskets, and recycled shirts and denim for carpeting. The 2016 F-150 even uses recycled plastic bottles in the Repreve fabric option.