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Ford are researching turning air pollution into car parts

Ford (or to give them their full name, Ford Motor Company) is possibly not a name we associate with saving the planet. After all Ford makes cars, right? And cars make air pollution. Well, Ford is turning that on its head. Because in the next 5 years or so, Ford will be making air pollution into cars.

Say what?

Yup, it’s true.

Ford have been working with a range of companies and universities on the project including Novomer (they make CO2 into new materials), who have been able to take CO2 and turn it into recyclable foam and plastic. The aim is to get the foam, which is still being developed, into cars in 5 years’ time (in seating and underhood applications), possibly reducing the use of petroleum by 600 million pounds or more a year.

And the wider results could end up being staggering. Imagine a car partly made from the waste made from making cars. The plastic isn’t as durable as it needs to be for cars yet, but there are also numerous other products which could make use of it. Just imagine if all plastic was made from captured fumes.

This environmental angle is not new for Ford either. In 1941, they built a soybean car. And today they are incorporating other renewable resources into their cars. Every car sold in North America contains soy foam.  Recycled tyres, plastic bottles, T-shirts and denim are incorporated into some Ford vehicles. In some Lincoln cars, tree fibres are used instead of fibreglass.

Speaking about the CO2 plastic and foam, Ford’s senior technical leader of sustainability, Debbie Mielewski said: “This technology is exciting because it is contributing to solving a seemingly insurmountable problem – climate change.”

It’s a growing game, but Ford is definitely playing it.  


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