In Brief

A dedicated research lab is transforming toxins into reusable materials

A Ford Motor Company research facility just outside of corporate headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan is embarking on an ambitious task: taking carbon dioxide and using it to create sustainable materials for the production of new vehicles. The project is a partnership with Novomer, a company that captures the greenhouse gases from manufacturing plants and will provide the research lab with the material to develop foams for seat cushions and other parts.

The research team has been around for almost two decades and has received more and more interest as the general public has become more educated about air pollution and as governments pass laws to reduce greenhouse gases. Starting with the Ford Mustang in 2007, the group has utilized soy materials in the cushions, seatbacks and headrests of all Ford vehicles in the US and developed ways of using more once waste materials into usable ones. Examples include tree fibers for fiberglass, wheat straw for storage bins and shredded paper currency for coin trays.

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