Ford Uses Coffee Bean Skins to Create New Composite Material
Ford plans to soon start using more recycled and renewable plastic in its vehicles by using parts of coffee beans to make components such as headlamp housings.
Car manufacturer Ford is collaborating with fast food chain McDonald's in the USA to test the sustainable production of vehicle components. McDonald's will supply Ford with large quantities of coffee bean skins that come off during roasting. This raw material will then be used to make a new composite material. When coffee waste is heated to high temperatures with low oxygen levels, it can be mixed with plastic and other additives and turned into pellets.
These pellets can be moulded to create vehicle parts such as headlamp housings which are up to 20 per cent lighter. What's more, the moulding process uses 25 per cent less energy. According to Ford, the heat properties of this new material are significantly better than those of some materials currently in use. The coffee waste is processed by Competitive Green Technologies and the headlamps are supplied by Varroc Lighting Systems.