FORD has smelt the coffee…and it comes from McDonald’s.
The two American giants have combined to add a double shot of sustainability to Ford motor cars.
And it comes in the form of coffee chaff – the dried skin of the bean – which naturally comes off during the roasting process.
This chaff can be converted into a durable material to reinforce parts of the car. By heating the chaff to high temperatures under low oxygen, mixing it with plastic and other additives and turning it into pellets, the material can be formed into various shapes.
Ford has used the chaff composite in parts like headlamp housings and other interior components. Ford says there are further benefits: the components are 20% lighter, and use 25% less energy in the moulding process.
“McDonald’s commitment to innovation was impressive to us and matched our own forward-thinking vision and action for sustainability,” commented Debbie Mielewski, Ford senior technical leader, sustainability and emerging materials research team.
“This has been a priority for Ford for over 20 years, and this is an example of jump starting the closed-loop economy, where different industries work together and exchange materials that otherwise would be side or waste products.”
McDonald’s is expected to direct a significant portion of its coffee chaff in North America to Ford to be incorporated into vehicle parts.
This is the first time Ford has used coffee bean skins to convert into select vehicle parts.
So next time you ask for an americano in McDonalds, you’ll be getting your caffeine kick – and building the next Ford car!