Researchers working on it believes that the new bio-materials in Ford vehicles could be seen within 5 years.
Formulated with up to 50% CO2-based polyols, the foam could be used for seating and underhood applications.
Ford Motor Company has become the first automaker to formulate and test new foam and plastic components using CO2 (carbon dioxide) as feedstock. Researchers working on it believes that the new bio-materials in Ford vehicles could be seen within 5 years.
Formulated with up to 50% CO2-based polyols, the foam could be used for seating and underhood applications. The American carmaker believes that this step will reduce petroleum use by over 600 million pounds on annual basis. The CO2-derived foam will also help reduce the use of fossil fuels in Ford cars.
“Ford is working aggressively to lower its environmental impact by reducing its use of petroleum-based plastic and foam,” said Debbie Mielewski, Ford senior technical leader of sustainability. “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 started working with several companies, universities and suppliers in 2013 to find applications for captured CO2. One of those is New York-based firm, Novomer, that uses captured carbon dioxide to produce innovative materials. Through a system of conversions, Novomer produces a polymer than can be formulated into a variety of materials including foam and plastic that are easily recyclable.
“Novomer is excited by the pioneering work Ford has completed with our Converge® CO2-based polyols,” said Peter Shepard, Novomer chief business officer. “It takes bold, innovative companies such as Ford to enable new technologies to become mainstream products.”
In the past as well, Ford has used different resources to develop sustainable materials for its products such as Soybeans for seat foam, kenaf for door bolsters, recycled T-shirts and denims for carpeting and recycles plastic bottles for seat fabric.
Process Explained in Pictures