Starting this year, Ford plans to incorporate coffee chaff– coffee bean skin that comes off during the roasting process– into headlamp housing for some cars. Ford is connecting with McDonald’s providers since the restaurant chain doesn’t roast its coffee. Ford made this announcement last December.
This is the latest example of companies embracing sustainability moves as consumers become more worried about plastic pollution and carbon emissions. The recycling plan– which will lower plastic and energy use– comes with a time of pressure for the auto industry to decrease emissions and create electric cars.
The process functions by heating the coffee chaff to high temperatures under low oxygen then mixing it with plastic and other additives. The material can then be developed into various shapes and is more durable than traditional car components, stated from Ford.
” If you came to our lab, it looks somewhere between a landfill and a farm,” said Debbie Miewelski, senior technical leader of materials sustainability at Ford.
The final product is expected to be 20 percent lighter, more fuel-efficient, and save the company 25 percent more energy during their manufacturing, the company said. And, at the same time, the initiative will decrease food waste, use less petroleum and plastic and lower carbon dioxide emissions.
” This has been very important for Ford for over twenty years,” Miewelski said. “And this is an example of jump-starting the closed-loop economy, where different industries work together and exchange materials that otherwise would beside or waste products”-he added.