Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ford Trucks Go Better with Ketchup?

In one of the more unlikely sounding business pairings, Ford Motor Company and H.J. Heinz Company are working together. Yes, the ketchup company. It seems that the by-products of Heinz Ketchup (tomato skins, stems and seeds) might be useful in making bio-plastic.

Heinz processes more than two million tons of tomatoes a year to make its ketchup. That adds up to a lot of left over tomato skins. Researchers think they might be able to turn the fibres in the waste products into plastic for wiring brackets or storage bins.

Sound far-fetched? Ford has been actively pursuing bio-plastics over the last few years. “We are exploring whether this food processing by-product makes sense for an automotive application,” said Ellen Lee, plastics research technical specialist for Ford. “Our goal is to develop a strong, lightweight material that meets our vehicle requirements, while at the same time reducing our overall environmental impact.”

Ford is already using eight other bio-based materials, with ingredients ranging from rice to soy to coconut. Now if they could only find something useful to do with zucchini.

[SOURCE: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20140610005821/en#.U8Vz0PldXng]

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