Maira Magnani, Advanced Materials & Processes, Ford Research & Advanced Engineering Europe reviewed their worldwide activities with bio-materials. Their goal is to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% between 2006 and 2020.
·All vehicles made in the Americas use 12% of a soy polyol to make the PU foam for seat cushions and backs. They plan to increase this to 25%.
·Compression moulded PP-Natural fibre composites are used to save weight (cf GRP) in the Mondeo, Focus, C-Max, Escape, Kuga and Fiesta.
·PP-wheatstraw mouldings are used in the Flex to reduce density and CO2 emissions c.f. GRP.
·PP-hemp or PP-sisal injection mouldings are being developed to reduce weight and have now passed all tests to allow wider use in interiors.
More recycled material usage is planned, the opportunities being:
·100% recycled carpets.
·Post industrial plastic waste recycled into bumpers.
·Milk and Detergent bottles recycled into screen-wash bottles and air ducts.
·Tyres recycled into aero-deflectors and under hood covers
·Battery cases recycled into splash shields.
·Recycled PU foam in sound-proofing.
Reduced CO2 emissions from petrol and diesel are being achieved by:
·Optimisation of combustion engines.
·Aerodynamic improvements and low friction tyres.
·Building more hybrids and electric cars – but battery production increases CO2 emissions.
·Using 2nd generation biofuels.
·Using more weight saving bio-composites.
·Using “Telematics” – Sat-Navs which calculate the most fuel-efficient routes.
(from the Biopolymer World Conference, Venice, April 2012)