Ford is trying to recycle McDonald’s coffee scrap and use it to make car parts to do everything it can to combat climate change. Ford said it would get the footwork from the fast-food giant, move it from landfill to its lab, where it will then be treated in bioplastics engineering. In addition to reducing food waste, the work will also make car parts lighter, use less oil and emit less carbon dioxide.
The automotive industry is under intense pressure to reduce emissions and increase production of electric vehicles. More than a quarter of all carbon emissions come from the transport sector. Ford is one of four global automakers that have struck a deal with the Trump administration to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions from their auto product lines by 2026. “It’s a relatively small job to convert used coffee residue into car parts than to reduce exhaust pipe emissions,” Ford said. ”
Ford’s description of the process is as follows:
Millions of pounds of coffee bean peels (coffee bean peels that fall off during roasting) are converted into garden covers or charcoal in North America each year. Together, Ford and McDonald’s can come up with an innovative approach to the material. The two companies found that coffee bean skins can be converted into durable materials to reinforce certain vehicle parts. By heating the bean skin sits at a high temperature under low oxygen, mix it with plastic and other additives, then make particles and eventually shape them into various shapes.
The coffee bean skin composites meet the quality specifications of the headlight housing and other components such as internal and underthe bonnet. The final component will lose about 20% of its weight and reduce the energy required during the molding process by up to 25%. Ford says the thermal properties of the coffee bean skin stake are also significantly better than those currently in use.
Ford has set itself a goal of using recycled and renewable plastics only in its global automotive product line.