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Ford, Jose Cuervo Team Up To Add Prickly Plant To Plastics

(Photo by Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez-KJZZ)
A pulque agave at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

We may soon be seeing agaves, and their byproducts, in places besides the desert and shot glasses. Ford Motor Company is working with Jose Cuervo, the tequila maker, to take agave fibers left from the juice extraction process and incorporate them into the plastic to be used in car parts.

Debbie Mielewski is senior technical leader for Sustainable Materials Research at Ford. She said the fibers are tough and could be used in the place of glass or talc to reinforce plastics.

An added bonus?

The pleasing caramel color. Mielewski said agave trim might, one day, be an option for car's interiors. 

Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.