Ford Motor Co. researchers are working on recyclable plant-based materials sturdy enough for automotive use, but once their lifecycle is up can be “told” to degrade. Any plant material can be used for components as long as it contains enough sugar, says Debbie Mielewski, technical leader for Ford’s materials research and advanced engineering department. Corn, however, is the primary material being tested. “You extract the sugar from the corn; you ferment the sugar; and then you get a ...

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