Ford Motor Company announced that its researchers have formulated the chemistry to replace 40 percent of the standard petroleum-based polyol with a soy-derived material, compared with auto industry’s 5-percent soy-based polyol. Polyurethane foams are used to make a vehicle’s seat cushions, seat backs, armrests and head restraints.
The average vehicle includes 30 pounds of foam made from petroleum products. The automaker says the creation of soy polyols reduces CO2 emissions, whereas the creation of petroleum polyols increases CO2 emissions.
Head restraint trials with the 40-percent soy foam is being conducted by Lear Corp., with Bayer Corps. contributing to the soy foam’s formulation development.
The projected is partly funded by the United Soybean Board.
Last year the company announced its 2008 Mustang would use soy foam.