Ford research that created parts prototypes using olive tree pruning waste found the results durable and says the waste could be used to make lighter-weights parts that also reduce plastics in vehicles and increase use of recycled material.
As younger generations of automotive consumers put a premium on curbing the environmental effects of their purchases, manufacturers want to promote the ways they’re shrinking the carbon footprint of their models.
Ford said the olive tree waste repurposed for vehicle parts could “reduce the carbon footprint” of parts and “bring the company closer to its goal of using more recycled and renewable content in its vehicles.”
It said annual olive tree pruning waste totals seven million tons each year.
Ford engineers worked on the parts research in Cologne using prunings from olive groves in Andalusia, Spain, which the company said has the world’s highest olive oil production. They combined 40% tree fibers with 60% recycled polypropylene plastic.
The automaker said the olive tree prunings research follows other innovations it’s introduced, including soybean-based foam seats and headrests, and recycled ocean plastic in Bronco Sport wiring harness clips.
Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today