Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The Incredible Edible Ford


A new dimension to "green" cars - not only will we power them with renewable energy, turns out we can grow the parts down on the farm too. Ford introduced soy-based seat foam a few years ago. Now, they are looking at mushroom-based resins to replace other plastics in your ride.

Ford Motor Company is interested in the environmentally-friendly possibilities, having already pioneered the use of soy oil in seat cushions and rubber parts. They are looking to collaborate on the development of a “fungus-based, biodegradable foam for automotive bumpers, side doors and dashboard.” Ford is hoping to replace around 30 pounds of the usually petroleum-based foam in each car with eco-friendly alternatives.

Evocative Design uses "fungal mycelium (the roots of mushrooms) as a resin to hold ‘agricultural byproducts’ together to create a rigid material". They also produce biodegradable insulation and packing materials for shipping - and lo and behold, one of their biggest customers is Steelcase. Good to see a couple of Michigan-based companies utilizing these eco-friendly innovations.

Instead of crushing old cars in the junk yards, maybe someday we'll just throw them on a big 'ol compost pile...