When you think of products made from agave, what comes to mind? A sweet syrup? Tequila? Car parts? Wait…what?

Yes, Ford and Jose Cuervo are partnering to create something different: car parts from agave plant byproduct.

As both companies look to reduce their environmental footprint, they’re working together to explore the use of the tequila producer’s agave plant byproduct in Ford vehicles, potentially forming bioplastics for a variety of automotive uses, from wire harnesses to storage bins.

A SECOND CHANCE AT USEFULNESS

With nearly 200 kilograms of plastic in a typical car, every step Ford can take to reduce the weight of vehicles, without compromising the quality of the parts, is an important one. The remnant fibers from the processed agave plant could help make vehicle parts not only lighter (lowering energy consumption) but also more durable.

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Nearly five billion metric tonnes of excess agricultural biomass is created every year, according to the United Nations Environment Programme. Jose Cuervo is determined to find better uses for their still-viable agave plant byproduct – working with Ford to find sustainable uses for these abundant and underutilized materials helps everyone and also our planet.

BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE

The more sustainable materials that help manufacturers like Ford offset the use of petrochemicals, glass fibers and talc in parts production, the better. Agave could potentially join soy foam, castor oil, wheat straw, kenaf fiber, cellulose, coconut fiber and rice hulls on the growing list of sustainable biomaterials used in Ford vehicles.

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Before any of these sustainable biomaterials make their way into a Ford vehicle, they have to be as-or-more durable as the part being replaced. It’s all part of Ford’s plan to find the right place for sustainable composites that both improve the quality of our vehicles and reduce our impact on the planet.