Ford Motor Company utilizes plant in making doors for the Ford Escape

By using an edible plant, Kenaf, to make door bolsters in the 2012 Ford Escape, the company will displace over 300,000 pounds of oil-based resin per year in North America. 
Photo: Ford Motor Company

DALLAS, February 15, 2012 – What does Ford Motor Company and the little edible plant called Kenaf have in common?

If you guessed it has something to do with the company’s efforts to think more green-friendly, you are right.

Even more to the point, Ford is using Kenaf on the all-new Escape, making up to 50% of the door bolsters in the vehicle from the plant.

By using kenaf, the company has improved fuel-economy, reduced weight and will displace over 300,000 pounds of oil-based resin per year in North America.

Ford Motor Company is using a plant called kenaf for a greener vehicle.

Ford Motor Company is using a plant called kenaf for a greener vehicle.

Kenaf, also used in cosmetics and as an alternative to wood to make paper and cardboard, is a tropical plant related to the cotton and okra plant. 

Ford is combining the plant with polypropylene in a 50-50 mixture inside the door of the Escape, which will reduce the weight of the door bolsters by 25%.

“The plant and the other renewable materials in the Escape have made the vehicle more environmentally friendly and fuel efficient,” says Laura Sinclair, materials engineer for the Ford Escape.

The new Escape, which will be available to customers this spring, features several other eco-friendly components.

Materials that are recycled, renewable and that reduce impact on the environment include soy foam in the seats and head restraints; plastic bottles and other post-consumer and post-industrial materials in the carpeting; climate control gaskets made from recycled tires and more than 10 pounds of scrap cotton left over from making of denim jeans.

“Wide use of more environmentally-friendly, recycled and recyclable materials complements the projected best-in-class fuel economy of the all-new Ford Escape, further boosting the vehicle’s environmentally responsible credentials,” noted a press release put out by Ford Motor Company.  “The new Escape meets the USCAR Vehicle Recycling Partnership goal that 85% of the vehicle is recyclable.”

With environmentalism on most everyone’s mind these days, it is nice to see companies like Ford going that extra mile to obtain the eco-friendly market.

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with has over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 13-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a radio show in Los Angeles called Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.  She also contributes travel and auto to the Anthony Duva show, which can be heard live from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST every Sunday at www.unregularradio.com

Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association, writes for the Dallas Morning News Green Living Section as well as artist profiles and www.greensourceDFW and spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books. Her latest book releases are both “Haunted Dallas” and “Haunted Fort Worth” from www.historypress.net.  You can also follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13.


 


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Rita Cook

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 10-plus years. She is the co-host of a radio show in Los Angeles; Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am and is on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.  Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and also writes an eco-friendly column for the Dallas Morning News.

 

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