Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ford Aims for 100-Percent Petroleum-Free Compostable Cars

�SI want to say just one word to you: Plastics!⬝ That might have been good advice to new college graduates a generation ago, but today that could be replaced with this word: �SBiofoam.⬝

Most conversations about the environmental impact of cars focus on drivetrains�hybrid versus diesel versus electric, etc. But the use of new bio-based materials�used in everything from seats to dashboards�also have a big impact on energy, as well as the environmental safety of passengers. That�"s why Ford is expanding its use of bio-based soy foam through nearly all of its vehicle lineup this year as part of an ongoing effort to use more renewable and recyclable materials.

Debbie Mielewski

Ford Technical Leader of Plastics Research Debbie Mielewski observes a polyol separation in the laboratory.

Ford�"s use of bio foam has helped the company reduce its petroleum oil usage by more than 3 million pounds annually and carbon dioxide emissions by 11 million pounds. In a press release, Debbie Mielewski, technical director, Plastics Research Group at Ford, said, �SOne day I hope to see the automotive world go totally compostable, removing the use of petroleum-based parts 100 percent.⬝

We reached out to Debbie to learn more. What are the most toxic or energy-intensive parts found in cars today?

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