Caffeinated Collaboration: Ford and McDonald's Plan to Build Headlight Housings from Coffee Bean Skin

Posted by Rachel Higgins on

photo from Ford Motor Company

Does your vehicle need a boost? A caffeine boost, that is! Automotive powerhouse, Ford Motor Company, and fast-food giant, McDonald's USA, announced a plan early-December 2019 for an innovative and eco-friendly partnership to use coffee bean remains to create vehicle parts, namely headlight housings.

Coffee chaff is the dried skin of the coffee beans that falls off during the roasting process, and the two companies plan to use that debris as a reinforcement material by mixing it with durable additives. They report that this composite meets Ford's quality expectations while weighing 20 percent lighter, using 20 percent less energy to mold, and proving better heat properties than traditional housings. 

“McDonald’s commitment to innovation was impressive to us and matched our own forward-thinking vision and action for sustainability,” said Debbie Mielewski, Ford senior technical leader, sustainability and emerging materials research team. “This has been a priority for Ford for over 20 years, and this is an example of jump starting the closed-loop economy, where different industries work together and exchange materials that otherwise would be side or waste products.”

The ORACLE Lighting team looks forward to installing our innovative LED solutions in one of these sustainable headlight housings in the future!

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