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Monday, 17 February 2020 17:17

On the Lighter Side: Ford Is Turning McDonald's Coffee Waste Into Car Parts

Written by Chris Bruce, Motor 1

Future Ford vehicles will come with some McDonald's coffee – at least in the models' components.

The fast-food giant will supply the chaff from its coffee roasting process to the automaker, and the Blue Oval will use the stuff as an ingredient when producing some parts.

Coffee chaff is the skin on the outside of the bean that comes off during roasting. It's generally a waste product. However, Ford's team finds that mixing the material with plastic and additives creates a material that's fantastic for auto parts. This deal means that McDonald’s is sending "a significant portion" of its chaff to Ford, according to the companies' announcement.

The automaker says that the coffee and plastic mixture results in parts that are 20 percent light and have better heat properties than the materials the company uses currently. The molding process also requires 25 percent less energy.

ford and mcdonald s using coffee chaff 1


Ford will use the coffee-based material first in headlight housings. It'll later be for underhood components, too. The company doesn't specify which vehicle might use these parts first, but going to the Ranger plant in the video might be a hint.

Ford's cringeworthy video takes a while to show off this new material but eventually gets around to it. The company heats the chaff to high temperatures in a low-oxygen environment and then mixes it with plastic. The stuff apparently smells a bit like coffee during the melting process, which must be better than the nasty stench from the usual plastic.

Source: Ford, Ford Motor Company via YouTube

We thank Motor1 for reprint permission