Ford today announced that it is formulating and testing new foams and plastics for automotive use that use recaptured carbon-dioxide as feedstock. Ford’s new, eco-friendly materials could help not only significantly reduce the amount of petroleum used in production, but also repurpose CO2 that might otherwise contribute to the earth’s greenhouse gases.
Ford’s CO2-based plastics and foams could see use in production vehicles within 5 years, constituting everything from underhood components to seating parts. The materials use up to 50-percent CO2-based polyols, and are being formulated with some help from Novomer – a New York-based materials firm that’s found a way to utilize CO2 captured from manufacturing plants to produce a polymer with numerous applications.
“Ford is working aggressively to lower its environmental impact by reducing its use of petroleum-based plastic and foam,” says Ford Senior Technical Leader of Sustainability Debbie Mielewski. “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.”
Ford’s pursuit of innovative, green materials doesn’t end with these new carbon-dioxide-based materials; soy foam is used in every Ford vehicle, while coconut fiber helps constitute Ford’s truck bed liners. And, of course, the automaker has adopted Repreve fabric for some of its upholstery – a material made with recycled plastic bottles.