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Jose Cuervo and Ford craft car parts from agave waste

Jose Cuervo has teamed up with Ford to experiment with the use of agave plants to make car parts.

Agave
Jose Cuevo is working with Ford to create a sustainable bioplastic material from agave

As part of Jose Cuervo’s broader sustainability plan, the brand aims to find a new way to use remnant agave fibres from Tequila production.

Currently Jose Cuervo uses a portion of the remaining fibers as compost for its farms, and local artisans make agave paper from the remaining waste.

Now researchers are testing durability and heat resistance for potential future use in vehicle components – such as wiring harnesses, heating, ventilation and air conditioning units and storage bins – and so far have found it has “great promise”.

If successful, the new material could reduce the weight of car parts, helping to improve fuel economy, and would also alleviate the use of petrochemicals, thereby decreasing the impact of vehicles on the environment.

“Jose Cuervo is proud to be working with Ford to further develop our agave sustainability plan,” said Sonia Espinola, director of heritage for Cuervo Foundation and master tequilera. “As the world’s No. 1-selling tequila, we could never have imagined the hundreds of agave plants we were cultivating as a small family business would eventually multiply to millions. This collaboration brings two great companies together to develop innovative, earth-conscious materials.”

Ford began researching the use of sustainable materials in the year 2000, and now uses eight sustainable-based materials in its vehicles: soy foam, castor oil, wheat straw, kenaf fiber, cellulose, wood, coconut fiber and rice hulls.

“There are about 400 pounds of plastic on a typical car,” said Debbie Mielewski, Ford senior technical leader, sustainability research department.

“Our job is to find the right place for a green composite like this to help our impact on the planet. It is work that I’m really proud of, and it could have broad impact across numerous industries.”

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