As profit margins continue to shrink and environmental factors become more high profile, US auto giant Ford has revealed that it is to fully implement its cost saving, patented fumes-to-fuel technology at its Michigan truck plant.
The technology, co-developed by Ford and Detroit Edison, turns paint fumes into clean electricity. Ford decided to install the new system following a successful trial of the scheme at the Michigan Truck Plant, located in Wayne, Michigan.
Ford uses the system to captures paint fumes, which contain air and volatile organic compounds or VOCs and sends them through a two-stage system.
In the first stage, a concentrator turns the VOCs’ exhaust stream into a rich mixture of hydrocarbons. Then at the second stage, the gas is fed into a combustion engine, which uses it to generate electricity for the plant.
The system eliminates the need for expensive incineration process currently used to remove VOCs from paint fumes and significantly reduces carbon dioxide emissions. It scheduled to go on-line at the plant this fall, according to Matt DeMars, Ford’s vice president of North American Vehicle Operations.