Issue Date: July 16, 2007
Ford Develops Soy Polyurethanes
Researchers at Ford Motor Co. say they have developed the chemistry that will allow for the substitution of up to 40% of the petrochemical-based polyols in the polyurethane foams used in automotive interiors with soy-based polyols. Given that the average car contains about 30 lb of polyurethane foam, the company estimates that making the switch could provide it with an annual cost savings of up to $26 million. Ford says it eliminated soy polyols' "vegetable oil" odor with a new synthesis method that uses ultraviolet light instead of catalysts and heat. The company has been working on foam formulations with Bayer MaterialScience.
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