Ford is working with Ohio State University to use dandelion juice for the interior trim of its vehicles. Ford is researching the use of the sustainable material as a modifier in car trimmings like floor mats, doors, and cup holders.
Ford is a leader in using sustainable materials to power and outfit their cars. The car manufacturer already uses soy foam to make seat cushions, wheat straw-filled plastic to form interior trim, and recycled cotton from blue jeans to create sound-dampening material.
Now Ford is looking into adding flower power to their list of sustainable materials. The Ford-Ohio team is also looking into using a shrub called guayule, as another source of sustainable car parts.
“We’re always looking for new sustainable materials to use in our vehicles that have a smaller carbon footprint to produce and can be grown locally,” said Angela Harris, a Ford research engineer. “Synthetic rubber is not a sustainable resource, so we want to minimize its use in our vehicles when possible.”
Ford is growing a Russian dandelion, called Taraxacum kok-soghyz to enhance the impact strength of plastic parts found in cars. “It’s strange to see weeds being grown in perfectly manicured rows in a greenhouse, but these dandelions could be the next sustainable material in our vehicles,” Harris added.
© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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