Ford and tequilamaker mix for cars
Booze and driving are a bad combination, but US auto company Ford and Mexico’s tequila maker Jose Cuervo have found a perfect mix.
The two companies have joined forces to explore the possibility of transforming fibres from agave, the plant used to make tequila, to create bioplastic that could replace fibreglass or caulk.
Researchers are currently testing the material’s durability and resistance to heat to see if it could be used in components such as wiring harnesses, air conditioning units and storage bins.
The bioplastic could help reduce the weight of a vehicle and cut energy consumption, while slashing pollution by using less petrochemicals.
“Agave is a good replacement and it’s lighter in weight,” Debbie Mielewski, the senior technical leader at Ford’s sustainability research department, told AFP.
Mr Mielewski has worked on finding renewable materials for vehicle components since the 1990s, helping Ford to find alternatives to petrol-based products, whose costs are affected by global oil prices. –