Home Technology Ford wants to recycle McDonalds coffee waste for car parts

Ford wants to recycle McDonalds coffee waste for car parts

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I don’t like waste. Whether it’s litter, wasting time in traffic or seeing food wasted from my Christmas lunch. That last example being hypothetical of course because I would never let food go to waste on Christmas. Unfortunately, waste is something which humans love creating as we tend to leave behind a pile of rubble, junk and other forms of waste with practically every step we make on this planet.

Thankfully, there are many people, initiatives and companies out there looking to deal with mankind’s waste problem and look for more proactive ways of recycling and using the waste we leave behind. Car manufacturer Ford has one unique idea which will see them recycle old coffee waste from McDonald’s (which I can only imagine works out to a lot) into car parts if all goes according to plan.

The Verge has reported on Ford’s ambitious plans to tackle waste management which will see the company turn the dried skin of the coffee bean, that falls off during roasting, into auto parts. It might seem like a small thing, but any effort to reduce waste is a positive step in my opinion:

Every year, millions of pounds of coffee chaff – the dried skin of the bean that naturally comes off during the roasting process – are turned into garden mulch or charcoal in North America. Together, Ford and McDonald’s can provide an innovative new home to a significant portion of that material. The companies 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 percent lighter and require up to 25 percent less energy during the moulding process. Heat properties of the chaff component are significantly better than the currently used material, according to Ford.

 Yeah, I don’t understand how any of that science works, but hope it can work out for them. With Ford being one of the largest vehicle manufacturers in the world though they could help get rid of a lot of unnecessary coffee waste and hopefully more innovative ideas can come from similar manufacturers to find ways of recycling food waste.

Last Updated: December 5, 2019

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