Thanks to this method, Ford could reduce petroleum usage by up to 600 million pounds (300.000 tons) annually. For the time being, these foams contain up to 50% CO2-based polyols. The latter is a term that refers to a type of alcohol, and it has different meanings depending on the industry that employs it.
The new materials developed by Ford use carbon dioxide as a feedstock, and are in the category of biomaterials. The Blue Oval expects to introduce these on the production line within five years.
For now, Ford is the only automaker to showcase a foam of this kind that is suitable for automotive requirements. According to the company, the new replacement for petroleum-based products could be used in seats and “under-hood applications.”
So, instead of the foam that’s used to reduce the noise of your engine, Ford could use the new polyol foam, while seats in some 2021 Ford models could also have this type of material behind the upholstery.
According to the British Plastic Federation, the manufacturing of the material, which has changed the way the world looks, accounts for nearly four percent of the global oil usage. Unfortunately, petroleum-based plastic is hard to recycle, and is an unsustainable material, just like fossil fuels.
Ford’s researchers have been working for nearly two decades on developing sustainable materials for automotive production. Every Ford vehicle sold in North America uses soy foam, and trunk liners have coconut fiber for support. Interior carpets in Ford models come from recycled T-shirts and denim, while recycled tires and soy are used in mirror gaskets.
We run these stories to show that every small change to reduce climate change will eventually make a big difference over the years, so keep up the good work!