July 26, 2016 By C! Magazine Staff

Ford and Jose Cuervo join forces to develop bioplastics from Agave


Ford and Jose Cuervo team up to make bioplastic out of agave plant by-products

Known for using various bio-materials in their vehicles since the turn of the new millenium, Ford continues to explore other possible uses for sustainable materials in their vehicles to this day. Having since used components such as soy foam, castor oil, kenaf fiber, wheat straw, and cellulose for their vehicles, the blue oval have made a case for recycling by-products into useable materials in their cars. Now however, their quest for sustainability will have them teamed up with an unlikely partner: Jose Cuervo.


Having seen that by-products of their renowned tequila’s roots, the Agave plant, can be potentially used as bioplastic, Jose Cuervo have collaborated with Ford to test the plant for suitability in a vehicle’s interior and exterior components. Supposedly having a use for components such as wiring harnesses, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), and storage bins, initial assessments suggest that agave shows great promise thanks to its durability and aesthetic qualities. Success in this endeavor will allow Ford to produce vehicles with lesser weight and possibly lower energy consumption.


“At Ford, we aim to reduce our impact on the environment,” said Debbie Mielewski, Ford’s senior technical leader in the 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 of the agave plant is a seven-year process. Once harvested, the heart of the agave plant is roasted before being ground and extracted of its juices for distillation. Originally the remaining fibers are then used for compost in Cuervo’s farms, with some being relegated to local artisans to make crafts and gifts. Thanks to Ford and Jose Cuervo’s new partnership, the remnant fibers may now find a new home inside Ford’s future vehicles.

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