Engineering Ltd. (Varroc), a global tier-I auto component group, announced that
its subsidiary Varroc Lighting Systems has partnered with Ford Motor Company
and McDonald’s to convert coffee bean skin into car parts.
Lighting Systems announced that it has produced a headlamp housing moulded from
coffee chaff – the dried skin of a coffee bean that comes off during the
roasting process, for the first time in exterior vehicle lighting industry.
Lighting’s new headlamp – developed in a partnership with Ford Motor Company,
McDonald’s, and Competitive Green Technologies (CGT) – offers stiffness,
rigidity, and thermal management properties that are comparable to existing
these recycled materials enables us to reduce our environmental impact—the
headlamp housing will be 20% lighter and better for fuel efficiency. The coffee
chaff, which comes off during coffee roasting process, otherwise mostly goes
straight away to landfills, the Varroc release said.
Ford Motor Company adds: Every year, millions of pounds 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.
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 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
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
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, ” she added.
McDonald’s is expected to direct a significant portion of its coffee chaff in
North America to Ford to be incorporated into vehicle parts.
McDonald’s, Ford is committed to minimizing 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,” he stated.
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