Henry Ford wasn’t just the founder of the Ford brand. He was also an inventor. He once made a whole suit made from soybean fiber. He even built a prototype automobile made partially from soybeans in 1941. Later, when oil prices dropped after World War II, the Ford brand explored ways to produce a car that was both made and ran from petroleum parts.
The company revived this interest decades later in 2007. Automakers integrated soy into the headrests, seat backs, and cushions for the Ford Mustang. It also used tree fibers in place of fiberglass for the windows of several Lincoln automobiles. Furthermore, the coin trays in some Ford cars have been made from recycled, shredded paper currency.
In 2016, the Ford brand is attempting a similar feat once again. Engineers are working on a project to make seat cushion foams out of carbon dioxide. This is a huge change, considering that most car parts are still made from plastic, which are created from fossil fuels. This means even hybrid and electric vehicles are made from non-renewable sources.
For this project, the Ford company has teamed with Novomer, a company that collects carbon dioxide produced from factories. When a carbon dioxide solution is mixed with water, the resulting mixture expands and becomes a sponge-like material. It’s not dense enough to be used as a cushion, but that can be fixed with some work. A Ford spokesperson said that the goal is to have the carbon dioxide foam in Ford vehicles within five years.
Imagine vehicles such as the brawny 2016 Ford F-150 having a soft seat cushion made from recycled carbon dioxide. Feel free to visit Folsom Lake Ford and speak with a representative at our Ford dealership near Roseville to learn more about what’s in store for future Ford vehicles.