Petroleum is found throughout passenger vehicles, not only in the gas tank. But Ford announced on Tuesday a project intended to minimize its reliance on petroleum-based vehicle components, and it chose an unlikely standard bearer: the dandelion
Developed in collaboration with Ohio State University, the project harnesses the scourge of lawn tenders worldwide, Taraxacum kok-saghyz, commonly called the Russian dandelion, to produce a versatile, milky-white substance that can be used as a plastics modifier. The substance, Ford said, could find application in cup holders, floor mats and interior trim pieces, replacing synthetic rubber commonly used in these applications.
While rubber does literally grow on trees, synthetic rubber is a petroleum product, and even if all the rubber Ford used were sustainably grown, it still would be cleaner to produce plastic from locally sourced dandelions because shipping would be minimized.
Read the entire article at the: NY Times Wheels Blog
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