Ford Motor Company and McDonald’s USA will soon be giving vehicles a caffeine boost by using part of a familiar staple in the morning routine, coffee beans, in vehicle parts such as headlamp housing.

Ford Motor Company and McDonald’s USA.

Probably the last thing the latest Ford Mustang needs is a shot of caffeine, but that’s what it’s getting. Right in the headlight.

Ford has discovered that coffee chaff, the dried skin of a coffee bean, when heated to high temperatures under low oxygen, can be turned into a durable material that, when mixed with plastic and other additives can be used to reinforce vehicle parts. The resulting components are about 20 percent lighter and require up to 25 percent less energy during the moulding process, and heat properties of the chaff component are significantly better than the currently used material.

In the United States Ford has now done a deal with McDonalds to take much of the coffee residue from its restaurants, the grounds that most restaurants simply throw away, for this process. McDonalds is giving the residue to Ford free of charge.

The resulting material is being used to make headlight housings for its Lincoln Continental luxury cars and Ford plans to use it in a number of other models, including the Mustang.

Ford Motor Company and McDonald’s USA will soon be giving vehicles a caffeine boost by using part of a familiar staple in the morning routine, coffee beans, in vehicle parts such as headlamp housing.

Ford Motor Company and McDonald’s USA

It’s not the first time the car maker has used sustainable materials to build vehicles. More than a century ago Henry Ford used soybean-based plastics in his products. In more recent times Ford has used agave plants, dandelions, tomato skins and shredded money, among other materials, in its manufacturing processes.

By the way, if you feel like doing your bit coffee grounds are good for the garden, and most coffee shops will give you a bag of their grounds free of charge.

Published December 2019.

 

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