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Home / News / Ford, McDonald's to use coffee bean skin in car parts

Ford, McDonald's to use coffee bean skin in car parts

11
Dec '19
Pic: Ford
Pic: Ford
Ford and McDonald’s have joined hands to convert coffee bean skin into car parts. Coffee chaff, the dried skin of the bean, naturally comes off during roasting. The companies found that chaff can be converted into a durable material to reinforce certain vehicle parts. A major part of coffee chaff from McDonald’s in North America is likely to be used by Ford.

Every year, millions of pounds of coffee chaff – the dried skin of the bean – naturally comes off during the roasting process. Ford and McDonald’s found that chaff can be converted into a durable material to reinforce certain vehicle parts. 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.

The chaff composite meets the quality specifications for parts like headlamp housings and other interior and under hood components. The resulting components will be about 20 per cent lighter and require up to 25 per cent less energy during the molding process. Heat properties of the chaff component are significantly better than the currently used material, according to Ford. This is the first time Ford has used coffee bean skins to convert into select vehicle parts.

“McDonald’s commitment to innovation was impressive to us and matched our own forward-thinking vision and action for sustainability,” said 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.

“Like McDonald’s, Ford is committed to minimising waste and we’re always looking for innovative ways to further that goal,” said Ian Olson, senior director, global sustainability, McDonald’s. “By finding a way to use coffee chaff as a resource, we are elevating how companies together can increase participation in the closed-loop economy.”

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (SV)

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