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H Ford και η πασίγνωστη εταιρία παραγωγής τεκίλας, Jose Cuervo, θα συνεργαστούν με σκοπό την ανάπτυξη ενός οικολογικού πολυμερούς που θα έχει βάση την αγαύη, το κακτοειδές φυτό από το οποίο παράγεται η τεκίλα.

Τέτοιου είδους έρευνες είναι συνηθισμένες από τις αυτοκινητοβιομηχανίες τα τελευταία χρόνια, σε μια προσπάθεια να δημιουργήσουν κατασκευές που θα είναι συνολικά φιλικές προς το περιβάλλον. Η χρήση λοιπόν βιοδιασπώμενων υλικών στα αυτοκίνητα, γίνεται ακολουθώντας αυτή τη κατεύθυνση. Για παράδειγμα η BMW στο i3 έκανε χρήση ανακυκλωμένων υλικών για τη κατασκευή του ταμπλό αλλά και των πάνελ της πόρτας.

H Ford σκοπεύει να εφαρμόσει τέτοιου είδους τεχνολογίες στα αυτοκίνητα της και το επιβεβαιώνουν οι δηλώσεις της Debbie Mielewski, που είναι υπεύθυνη του τμήματος ερευνών βιώσιμων τεχνολογιών. Η κυρία Mielewski είπε:

Στη Ford σκοπεύουμε να μειώσουμε την επίδρασή μας στο περιβάλλον. Είμαστε πρωτοπόροι στον τομέα της βιώσιμης τεχνολογίας και αναπτύσσουμε νέες τεχνικές ώστε να χρησιμοποιήσουμε ανακυκλωμένα υλικά και ίνες και ταυτόχρονα να μειώσουμε τη χρήση υδρογονανθράκων και χημικών, αλλά επίσης να κατασκευάσουμε ελαφρύτερα αυτοκίνητα που θα πετυχαίνουν την επιθυμητή αυτονομία.

H Ford θα χρησιμοποιήσει τα παράγωγα της αγαύης για να κατασκευάσει εξαρτήματα όπως μονώσεις καλωδίων, αποθηκευτικά δοχεία, όπως ακόμη και τμήματα του συστήματος κλιματισμού. Φυσικά οι έρευνες είναι ακόμα σε πολύ αρχικό στάδιο, αλλά το συγκεκριμένο υλικό δείχνει να καλύπτει τις απαιτήσεις του κατασκευαστή αναφορικά με την αντοχή αλλά και το αισθητικό κομμάτι.

Σε δήλωσή της η Sonia Espinola, υψηλόβαθμο στέλεχος του Ιδρύματος Cuervo αναφέρει:

Στη Jose Cuervo είμαστε περήφανοι για τη συνεργασία μας με τη Ford που σκοπό έχει την ανάπτυξη ενός σχεδίου βιωσιμότητας με τη χρήση της αγαύης.

Αν όλα εξελιχθούν ομαλά και βάσει σχεδίου, τότε στην επόμενη γενιά οχημάτων Ford θα γίνεται χρήση παραγώγων υλικών του φυτού της αγαύης.

Δελτίο Τύπου

FORD, JOSE CUERVO TEAM UP TO MAKE CAR PARTS FROM AGAVE

  • Ford Motor Company and Jose Cuervo® are exploring the use of agave plants to develop a sustainable bioplastic material to incorporate in vehicles, giving the agave fiber byproduct a second chance at usefulness
  • Researchers are testing the material’s durability and heat resistance for potential use in vehicle interior and exterior components such as wiring harnesses and storage bins
  • Success in developing the sustainable composite could reduce the weight of car parts, helping to improve fuel economy; the new material could alleviate the use of petrochemicals, decreasing the overall impact of vehicles on the environment

DEARBORN, Mich., July 19, 2016 – Ford Motor Company is teaming up with Jose Cuervo® to explore the use of the tequila producer’s agave plant byproduct to develop more sustainable bioplastics to employ in Ford vehicles.

Ford and Jose Cuervo are testing the bioplastic for use in vehicle interior and exterior components such as wiring harnesses, HVAC units and storage bins. Initial assessments suggest the material holds great promise due to its durability and aesthetic qualities. Success in developing a sustainable composite could reduce vehicle weight and lower energy consumption, while paring the use of petrochemicals and the impact of vehicle production on the environment.

“At Ford, we aim to reduce our impact on the environment,” said Debbie Mielewski, Ford senior technical leader, sustainability research department. “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.”

The growth cycle of the agave plant is a minimum seven-year process. Once harvested, the heart of the plant is roasted, before grinding and extracting its juices for distillation. Jose Cuervo uses a portion of the remaining agave fibers as compost for its farms, and local artisans make crafts and agave paper from the remnants.

Now, as part of Jose Cuervo’s broader sustainability plan, the tequila maker is joining forces with the automaker to develop a new way to use its remnant fibers.

“Jose Cuervo is proud to be working with Ford to further develop our agave sustainability plan,” said Sonia Espinola, director of heritage for Cuervo Foundation and master tequilera. “As the world’s No. 1-selling tequila, we could never have imagined the hundreds of agave plants we were cultivating as a small family business would eventually multiply to millions. This collaboration brings two great companies together to develop innovative, earth-conscious materials.”

Like Ford Motor Company, Jose Cuervo is family-owned and operated. Founded in 1795, it has been making tequila for more than 220 years with the same experience, craftsmanship and recipes that have been handed down generation through generation.

The collaboration with Jose Cuervo is the latest example of Ford’s innovative approach to product and environmental stewardship through the use of biomaterials. Ford began researching the use of sustainable materials in its vehicles in 2000. Today, the automaker uses eight sustainable-based materials in its vehicles including soy foam, castor oil, wheat straw, kenaf fiber, cellulose, wood, coconut fiber and rice hulls.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, 5 billion metric tons of agricultural biomass waste is produced annually. A byproduct of agriculture, the supply of materials is abundant and often underutilized. Yet the materials can be relatively low cost, and can help manufacturers to offset the use of glass fibers and talc for more sustainable, lightweight products.

“There are about 400 pounds of plastic on a typical car,” said Mielewski. “Our job is to find the right place for a green composite like this to help our impact on the planet. It is work that I’m really proud of, and it could have broad impact across numerous industries.”

ABOUT FORD MOTOR COMPANY

Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 201,000 employees and 67 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing, financing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs and electrified vehicles, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. At the same time, Ford aggressively is pursuing emerging opportunities through Ford Smart Mobility, the company’s plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide or Ford Motor Credit Company, visit www.corporate.ford.com.

ABOUT JOSE CUERVO TEQUILA

Jose Cuervo® is the largest and most widely distributed tequila brand in the U.S. and the world. The Jose Cuervo® portfolio of tequilas includes Jose Cuervo Especial®, the world’s best-selling tequila, Jose Cuervo Tradicional®, Jose Cuervo® Reserva de la Familia®, Jose Cuervo Golden Margarita®, Authentic Jose Cuervo Margaritas® and Jose Cuervo Margarita Mix®. Jose Cuervo® is distributed in the U.S. by Proximo, a privately owned, premium spirits importer founded in 2007 and based in Jersey City, New Jersey.