After 10 Rounds of Jose Cuervo... Ford Used the Leftovers to Make Greener Car Parts

As country singer Tracy Byrd would tell you, Jose Cuervo is a popular tequila for folks looking to drown a memory or have a fun time at the bar. When Ford Motor Company sees all that fermented agave, it starts thinking about more than just rounds of shots.

Ford and the two-centuries-old tequila-maker are teaming up for the first time to make better use of agricultural waste. Agave plants take up to 10 years to fully mature and be harvested for their juice. After being roasted and pressed, fiber is left over.

Traditionally, Jose Cuervo would use some of the fibrous byproduct as fertilizer to go back into the agave farms. Local artisans also use the fibers to make agave paper and other crafts. Now, some of the remnants of the tequila-making process will also be shipped off to Ford in Detroit, where senior technical leader of materials sustainability, Debbie Mielewski, is working to create in-car applications from the natural fiber.

"At Ford, we aim to reduce our impact on the environment," said Mielewski. "As a leader in the sustainability space, we are developing new technologies to efficiently employ discarded materials and fibers, while potentially reducing the use of petrochemicals and light-weighting our vehicles for desired fuel economy."

Currently, Ford uses eight different sustainable materials in its new vehicles, including soy foam, found in the seat cushions of every single Ford manufactured in North America since 2011. Learn more about it at John Kennedy Ford Conshohocken.

Categories: Green, News
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