Ford and McDonald’s are turning coffee into car parts

Can I get a venti front bumper please?

1y ago

Ford and McDonald's in the US will soon be giving vehicles a caffeine boost, by using coffee beans in vehicle parts such as headlamp housing.

Every year, millions of kilos of coffee chaff – the dried skin of the bean – naturally comes off during the roasting process. 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 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 is expected to direct a significant portion of its coffee chaff in North America to Ford to be incorporated into vehicle parts.

The collaboration with Ford and McDonald’s is the latest example of the innovative approaches both companies take to product and environmental stewardship. The project also involves Varroc Lighting Systems, which supplies the headlamps, and Competitive Green Technologies, the processor of the coffee chaff.

Ford is progressing toward a goal of using recycled and renewable plastics in vehicles globally, with an increasing range of sustainable materials.

McDonald’s is on its way to sourcing 100 per cent of its guest packaging from renewable, recycled or certified sources by 2025. In addition, McDonald’s is helping develop a recyclable and/or compostable cup through the NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge. Both efforts are part of McDonald’s 'Scale for Good' initiative, a global commitment to use its size and scale to drive meaningful change.

McDonald’s and Ford plan to continue exploring ways to collaboratively use waste as a resource, while furthering their respective sustainability goals.

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Comments (8)

  • Sounds like a good idea, as long as the process isn't riddled with other by-product emissions that are worse than the previous method.

      1 year ago
  • Sounds legit and sustainable to me ( I meant that not being snarky)

    I mean, adding chaff to plastics to make a composite is a pretty old and established practice.

    If it actually lightens the plastics and cuts cost and amount of petrol derivatives in the mix it should be a win-win. ( as long as there aren’t hidden cost or contamination in the process )

      1 year ago
  • I have had vehicle fires and summer heat! i wonder if i will be craving mc cafe during those times since i will already be awake🤔

      1 year ago
    • Wonder if they tried making cars from McFlurries would they be fire proof?

        1 year ago
  • Ford also made a car from Hemp all the bodywork was made from it and that was donkeys years ago !.

      1 year ago
  • I wondered why the KA engine self immolated on most of their cars... now I know!

      1 year ago