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Decorate Future Car Interior with Tomatoes


A lovely little tomato. Image credit: photon_de on Flickr.

NO! We are not saying ketchup stains!

It is reported recently that Ford Motor Company is planning to produce a recycled material by making use of the waste from the H.J. Heinz Company.

If this project goes on successfully, in the future, the stems, skin and other unused tomato parts from ketchup production would be turned into composite materials used for manufacturing wiring brackets, or a storage bin.

In consideration of the practicability of tomatoes as a material source, Ellen Lee, Ford’s technical expert in plastics research said that there were still some problems in this respect, because tomatoes lack some properties in maintaining stiffness. In addition, like other natural fibers, tomato fibers are not easily compacted to feed into equipment. However, the Ford’s team is collaborating with other material suppliers involved in dealing with natural fibers to find the new approach to solving such problems.

As early as fourteen years ago, the Ford’s team started exploring the possibility to develop and integrate more recycled and plant-based materials in vehicles. These materials include coconut, recycled cotton, rice hulls and soy. At present, this team has finished the primary feasibility of developing the concept into practice at its early end of research work.

Source: Popular Science