Gallery: Cars Made From Liquid Wood Around the Corner

 

With major auto manufactures rushing to green their upcoming vehicle lines as quickly as possible, Ford Motor Company has announced that it is researching an innovative material that may one day become as ubiquitous as plastic – liquid wood! The material is derived from waste wood, can be molded into different shapes, and the best news is that according to Ford, it is almost carbon neutral.

Liquid wood is a combination of lignin, a chemical compound derived from wood, and rubber. The wood used in its production can be anything from virgin timber to wood waste.

Ford’s interest in the material is part of its strategy to increase the amound of renewable resources used in the development of its vehicles. Liquid wood is attractive to them because they have found that a single piece of liquid wood can be recycled up to five times. According to the company this makes the material practically carbon neutral, although this would only account for the embodied energy in the product, not for its manufacturing.

Ford is intending to use the process for creating parts of the vehicle’s interior and the engine compartment. We can’t wait to see the first liquid wood cars roll out.

+ Ford

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  1. echodog August 4, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Apparently there are other “liquid wood” products under research, using lignin. The story linked below doesn’t even mention the use of rubber, just lignin and cellulose fillers:

    http://features.csmonitor.com/innovation/2009/02/11/could-%E2%80%98liquid-wood%E2%80%99-replace-plastic/

    Also, I think we need to be careful talking about “cars made from liquid wood.” There is no indication that this material is as structurally robust as the steel and aluminum making up car bodies right now. The photo appears to be an element of a dashboard, with cutouts for the gauges, radio, and ash tray. So what we are probably looking at is an attempt to make car interior molding elements out of liquid wood rather than plastic.

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