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Using Flowers To Build Cars

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The automobile industry is definitely taking the initiative on finding new ways to provide us with a “greener” product.  For now, we’ll not discuss hybrid, electric, hydrogen propulsion systems for cars, but instead, we’ll tout Ford’s new interior initiatives.  Ford plans on using more plant based ingredients in the vehicles they produce.  Their latest initiative is to use the kenaf plant in the upcoming Escape Hybrid SUV.  The Escape’s door bolsters will be made from kenaf, a flowering tropical plant.  The kenaf plant can be found in Southeast Asia, and grows in a similar fashion to bamboo.  Kenaf is a member of the cotton family of plants.  The door bolsters will be twenty-five percent lighter, and will aid in improving fuel efficiency.  Ford will use a 50-50 mixture of kenaf and polypropylene and source the bolsters from a U.S. supplier.  Ford is using different types of materials, including soy gaskets and seals and seat covers made of recycled plastic as part of its sustainability efforts. It even uses soy to make the foam found in their vehicle seats.  The company said that eighty-five percent of the Escape due this spring would be recyclable.  As an American manufacturer Ford seems to be doing more then their competitors are doing in the use of renewable materials for their cars.  It’s an example that others need to follow.

 

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