Every automaker is looking for ways to reduce petroleum-derived material use in its new vehicles. Ford has been one of the leaders in this area, using both recycled fabrics and soy-derived foam. For the new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler and its suppliers begin incorporating recycled foam into the seat cushions. The foam supplier has developed a new glycolysis process to decompose waste foam and trimmings into the base polyols that is used to produce polyurethane foam.
The decomposed polyol is then blended by Magna back in with virgin materials to produce seats with at least five percent recycled content. The Grand Cherokee is the first auto industry application of this recycled foam and the process should keep about 180,000 pounds of foam annually out of landfills. Check out the video after the jump.