Plastic Made With Wheat Straw Cuts Ford’s Petroleum Use  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

Tripe Pundit has an article on Ford's use of bioplastic in their cars - Plastic Made With Wheat Straw Cuts Ford’s Petroleum Use.

For years, Ford has been experimenting with materials to cut its petroleum use, and the 2010 Ford Flex will showcase the latest fruits of its labor. The Flex’s third-row storage bin will have a 20 percent wheat straw-based plastic content.

While the change may seem small, it will cut manufacturing petroleum by 10 tons and CO2 emissions by 15 tons, and cut the storage bin’s weight by 10 percent — thereby saving the end consumer a small amount of fuel, as well. Similarly, in late September, Ford announced that it is now using soy-based foam in seat cushions and backs and interior roof covers, a change that saved 750 tons of petroleum in the manufacturing process. The soy foam is also 25 percent lighter than petroleum foam.

Bioplastics is a burgeoning industry, and the material is showing up everywhere from cell phone casing to grocery bags. But it may not be ideal for durable consumer goods like vehicles. Because of their natural fiber components, these plastics tend to absorb moisture more readily and decompose more quickly than traditional plastic — a desirable quality in plastic bags, but not in dashboards.

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