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Ford First Automaker to Develop Materials Using Captured Carbon Dioxide

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CO2 foam

Ford announced on Tuesday that it has become the first automaker to develop biomaterials using captured carbon dioxide. According to the company, it is able to use CO2 to create foams and plastics that will be used in production vehicles within the next five years.

The foams Ford has been able to generate use up to 50% CO2-based polyols and can be used in seating and for purposes under the hood. The company estimates that the applications of this foam could potentially cut petroleum use by 600 million pounds a year.

“Ford is working aggressively to lower its environmental impact by reducing its use of petroleum-based plastic and foam,” said Debbie Mielewski, Ford senior technical leader of sustainability. “This technology is exciting because it is contributing to solving a seemingly insurmountable problem—climate change. We are thrilled to be leading the charge toward reducing carbon emissions and the effects of climate change.”

Ford revealed that it has been working to utilize captured CO2 since 2013, including a long-standing partnership with Novomer. The New York-based company utilizes capture carbon dioxide to produce materials.

“Novomer is excited by the pioneering work Ford has completed with our Converge® CO2-based polyols,” said Peter Shepard, Novomer chief business officer. “It takes bold, innovative companies such as Ford to enable new technologies to become mainstream products.”

Ford has been exploring other methods for utilizing sustainable materials in its products, and many applications have been put into practice. At present, soy foam is used in some capacity in every Ford vehicle, recycled jeans and t-shirts are used to make carpeting, and plastic bottles are repurposed to create REPREVE fabric for the 2016 Ford F-150.