Published 1 month ago.
About a 2 minute read.
Ford engineers are conducting trials on parts made from 40% olive tree
fibers and 60% recycled plastic — which is heated and injection-molded
into the shape of the selected part.
Every year, pruning olive trees creates 7 million tons of waste.
Ford recently announced that its engineers in
Cologne, Germany could be expanding the automaker’s repertoire of circular
materials through an innovative research project to explore how that
agricultural waste could be upcycled to create prototype auto parts. The
researchers have found the parts to be durable; and they believe experiments
such as this could lead to the development of lighter-weight parts that reduce
the amount of plastic used in vehicles, reduce the carbon footprint of auto
parts, and bring the company closer to its goal of using more recycled and
renewable content in its vehicles.
The trial was conducted as part of the COMPOlive project, designed to
demonstrate the impact of using materials made from recycled and renewable
materials in auto parts. For the trial, the waste materials were sourced from
olive groves in Andalusia, Spain — the region with the highest production of
olive oil in the world. The prototype parts consisted of 40 percent olive tree
fibers and 60 percent recycled polypropylene plastic; the resulting substance
was then heated and injection-molded into the shape of the selected part.
COMPOlive is the latest in a long legacy at Ford of research and innovation in
sustainable and circular materials — including bioplastics made from everything
and some that eventually make it into Ford vehicles — including industry-first
soybean-based foam seats and
and post-consumer recycled materials including yogurt cups (in the Ford Mustang
and recycled ocean plastic (wiring harness clips in Ford Bronco
Published Jan 19, 2024 11am EST / 8am PST / 4pm GMT / 5pm CET