Ford Motor Company continues its efforts to use more renewable and recyclable materials in its vehicles. This includes soy and bio-based seat cushions and seatbacks on the 2010 Ford Taurus. Other vehicles already made with sustainable materials include the Ford Mustang, F-150, Focus, Flex, Escape, Expedition and Econoline as well as Mercury Mariner, Lincoln MKS and Navigator.
This has helped Ford develop vehicles that are now 85 percent recyclable by weight. In 2009, the automaker saved approximately $4.5 million by using recycled materials, and diverted between 25 and 30 million pounds of plastic from landfills in North America. In addition, the two million Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles on the road today with bio-foam seats cut petroleum use by about 1.5 million pounds.
The automaker is also using post-consumer recycled resins such as detergent bottles, tires and battery casings to make underbody systems, such as aerodynamic shields, splash shields and radiator air deflector shields. As an example, the engine cam cover on the 3.0-liter V-6 2010 Ford Escape uses post-consumer recycled resins helping Ford divert between 25 and 30 million pounds of plastic from landfills.
Ford also said by using 100 percent post-consumer recycled yarns it could cut energy use by 64 percent and CO2 emissions by 60 percent.
The automaker also uses repurposed nylon carpeting made into nylon resin and molded into cylinder head covers for Ford’s 3.0-liter Duratec engine, and wheat straw-reinforced plastic in third-row storage bins for the 2010 Ford Flex.
Ford researchers also are developing natural-fiber composites as a potential substitute for glass fibers, which will help improve fuel economy and reduces emissions. They are also looking at ways to use plastics made entirely from sustainable resources such as corn, sugar beets, sweet potatoes and other vegetables.