Ford's Aluminum Recycling Program Helps the Earth

IMG_0091 II

Just in time for Earth Day 2016, Ford has announced that the latest generation of its F-150 full-size pickup is the "greenest" ever, thanks in part to a manufacturing process that helps reduce environmental strain.

At Ford's Dearborn, Mich., plant where the F-150 is produced, 30 to 40 percent of the aluminum used in the stamping process is turned into scrap. These leftover pieces are then recycled using the plant's closed-loop system and recycled back into new aluminum to be used again in the production process. Ford said that each month as much as 20 million pounds of aluminum is reprocessed — that's the equivalent of more than 30,000 F-150 bodies in the largest available configuration. 

Recycling the F-150's aluminum also provides other environmental benefits, including producing 95 percent less greenhouse gases than would be emitted during the primary aluminum production process. The process also uses less water and energy.

These production efficiencies and the F-150's improved fuel economy due to lighter materials and EcoBoost engines combine to give the 2016 F-150 the smallest life-cycle carbon footprint of any full-size pickup available in North America, according to the Automotive Science Group.

To see the recycling process in action, head over to Ford's Instagram account today or watch the video below. photo by Mark Williams





How long till BAFO aka DenverIIIdud pounces on this story to bemoan Ford's alloy body panels?

Nothing wrong with Ford using recycled aluminum, much less energy is used in recycling aluminum than the actual production of aluminum.

Wouldn't they have done the same with steel scrap? This smells of a public relations office "feel good" press release.

Everyone recycles.

@Don E.
Welcome to

Takes a lot more energy to make aluminum than steel. Also there is little difference in the quality of recycled aluminum versus originally manufactured aluminum. A much greater cost savings in recycling aluminum versus recycling steel but it is still much cheaper to recycle any metal. Yes it is a good PR for Ford but then Ram or GM would do the same thing if they were using aluminum. Most people who buy a truck are going to be swayed more by price and/or their brand preference.

30-40% recycled aluminum. I knew beer and pop cans were used to build these things.

Military Grade Aluminum is Job #1 at Ford.

#1 in Gasoline mileage for full size pickup trucks.

#1 The only pickup truck to get a 5 star crash test rating.

#1 In truck sales for 38 years.

papa jim,
Who's this BAFO guy you are attempting to align me with?

He seems to have gotten under your skin, is this true?

Being a newcomer to this site it appears to be quite a Ford biased, with some interesting and paranoid comments.

I do know that the production of aluminum is very energy intensive. Is Ford using green energy to lay claim to this wonderful new aluminum F-150?

I do believe if the market price for aluminum was the same as steel this article would of never made it to "print".

Seems like a marketing article for Ford.

Speaking of Bafo, where did he go off too? It would be beneficial in pretty much every aspect for ford to recycle it seems. I wonder if the recycled aluminum has to be blended with a certain percentage of new aluminum to keep its integrity during the forming process or can the compounds /molecules keep integrity and be able to be used over and over and without a certain percent of new aluminum. I do not know metalergy really but seems like a valid question if someone knows the answer.


About a year ago one of the big shots of PUTC got a job working for public relations for Ford.
ummm? I forgot his name?

Lame, they got V6's that weight more then V8s and that get less MPG's then most of the V8s in the real world. Real Earth friendly this POS Ford is.

This BAFO, BARFO, Big Al guy seems to of had an impact on some who comment on this site. It would be nice to read some of his comments.

As for my comment, I didn't realize steel isn't recyclable. Aluminum is a great material, but is it worth using on a pickup as extensively as the F-150?

What are the real gains, since the pickup only weighs a few hundred pounds less than it's competitors.

The aluminum F-150 would of cost Ford lots to design and develop.

With a lighter pickup and springs, sprung for a pickup how well does it compare in ride comfort, say to a Ram?

It must be a rougher ride, add to that the false FE figures that are not really attainable from the 2.7 EcoBoost.

I suppose most F-150 drivers hyper mill.

Ford is a leader in being the "greenest" is a video showing there high tech incineration process.

A real example of ONE Ford!

They clean up fairly easy.

Steel is recyclable but it is not as good as virgin steel. Most products made of steel probably have at least some steel that has been recycled.

About a year ago one of the big shots of PUTC got a job working for public relations for Ford.
ummm? I forgot his name?

Posted by: Lou_DC | Apr 24, 2016 3:14:56 PM

I think his name was Sergio M. LOL

Denver, you make the same arguments and are spouting same falsehoods as Big AL used to. His disappearance from the pickup comments section also seems to coincide with your appearance here.

Yes, Ford expended time and resources developing a process to build their half ton truck bodies from aluminum. The benefits are numerous in the forms of corrosion resistance, increased payload and towing, increase in fuel economy when compared to the heavier outgoing model. We also now see that the design of the cab section is shared with the all new 2017 superduty, sharing the development costs between regular and HD pickup lines.

The 2.7 Ecoboost is getting great mileage in the real world, I don't know where you're getting your info Denver.

This site, like many automotive news websites, regurgitate press releases from manufacturers. The simple fact is that Ford does a better job with this than other manufacturers. The reason you see more from Ford here is because GM and Dodge simply don't put out as much information as Ford. There is no conspiracy, if there was then Ford would be a shoe-in for every comparison they do. Let's put away the tin foil hats.

Greenest? Really?
Talk about BS propaganda,,I sure wouldnt want to live downwind from any metal smelting factory be it iron or aluminum,,

You want to talk green do what old Henry Ford did
Make it from Hemp

Posted by: DenverlllDud | Apr 24, 2016 4:23:09 PM

BAFO's name was banned by PUTC for not following the rules and being a stone cold anti-American and racist. He was ran off the site.

Looks like I am going to have to report his new name, too, as he is back under a new name .

Feel free to make a report here:

DenverlllDud = BAFO

Report him at the link.

Denver guy seems to like to use paragraphs the same way barfo did. A dud is a dud is a dud.

oilfieldfx4 - - -

1) Aluminum is infinitely recyclable with no loss in metallurgical properties:

"Recyclability: Aluminium is 100% and infinitely recyclable with no deterioration in quality."


2) The same applies to Steel:

"Steel is 100% recyclable. It can be recycled any number of times without loss of quality. It is one of the only materials that does not lose its properties when recycled.
"Even after incineration steel can be recovered for recycling. This is made possible by the fact that steel is magnetic.
"Recycled steel is as strong and durable as new steel made from iron ore."

See more at:


BAFO was banned for being a Nazi propaganda machine. Now he's trying to come back under a new name.


I thought one of the problems with recycled steel was it was more prone to rust.

Yet another example of this pro-Ford site...

All auto giants have massive 'green' programs at their facilities and in some of their vehicles, focusing just on Ford shows a bias...

@Jeff S

Actually, steel is not one kind of metal.

It's actually a number of different alloys, depending on the other elements and compounds added to the mix to enhance a certain desired property.

Some steels will have a teeny bit of copper added, others include moly, chromium, etc.

Because of this, recycling steel for a very specific set of requirements (rust-resistant, hardness, workability) becomes a little problematic but it's not because of the metal itself, you just need a way to control the stuff coming in from the collection points.

Happy I could help

Well Ford just unknowingly debunked their own "Military Grade" claim. True "Military Grade" aluminum (which isn't even a real term anyway) includes various alloys and heat-treat processes that strengthen it. It can be recycled but once it is melted the alloy content is not the same formula as the original chemistry. If it were reused for body panels the ones made from recycled material would not be the same "Military Grade" formulation as the original ones.

Ford is either producing subpar panels from the recycling or process or they are NOT using so-called "Military Grade" alloys in the first place (which is probably what is really happening).

@ Blueman

I can easily count the same number of things Ford is not #1 for:

Having a midsize truck
Having a desiel half ton

This story is really funny! As expensive as Al is, no kidding they recycle it! Duh! Also, sounds like they need another $5B loan for DOE to redesign their process to produce less waste!

Jeff S is right on here.

@papa jim--Thanks for the additional info on steel. It would be hard to separate all the other metals contained in steel. Where I use to live we had a stainless steel company, North American Steel, who once a year for Earth Day would have open recycling of steel with the proceeds donated to the local schools. I brought a lot of stuff from our farm including an old refrigerator. The only things they would not take were whole cars, paint cans, or old oil and chemical drums. Lots of people came and the employees would unload for you. Now I live in a suburban area but I have a salvage yard a few miles from my house. It comes in handy to have an old truck to haul things away. I am planning on retiring in a few years so I have been hauling stuff off.

@DenverDud - At TTAC several owners of 2.7 EB's posted their mpg. A Ford engineer even weighed in the subject. So unless you have actual seat time in any of the F150's you are just spewing your usual anti-Ford anti-aluminum tripe.

@nmgom, thank you. That is helpful and interesting. I would imagine the same applies with alloys as well. That works out even better in recycling terms

@Jeff S, exactly!

The majority of steel "recycling" is really what we used to call "scrapping."

You picked up bits of scrap iron and steel and sold it to scrapyards that sold it by the ton, and it ended up on ships bound for India, Turkey and Greece.

Scrap metal from wrecked cars and trucks, along with rebar and I-beam. The stuff that got melted down was rare, most of it was just rusty old crap but the scrap yards would take it, at a dime a pound or something like that.

Aluminum recycling is another thing entirely because it's much simpler and--as you previously noted--the cost of energy was a driver for recycling as a business concept.

Now that energy is cheap again, recycling aluminum may become a lot less attractive to those companies.

@papa jim--The price of scrap aluminum and steel is about half of what it was a few years ago. I think the prices of scrap metal will go up a little because the Chinese have started to buy more of it but with lower energy costs and more mining it will not go up as much as it did. It is still good to recycle the metals. The salvage yard near me seems to turn over the junk cars and will literally take about anything that is metal. i have noticed in the last few years the amount of junk vehicles they are getting has increased as the number of new vehicles have increased. There are a lot less abandoned vehicles on the road as well. I think many were holding off on buying new vehicles during the bust of 2008. I am not saying the economy has fully recovered but many have decided to finally replace their older vehicles which also increases the supply of used vehicles.

I predict the Aluminum Ford will be the choice of thieves

I predict the Aluminum Ford will be the choice of thieves

Posted by: HEMI V8 | Apr 25, 2016 9:12:29 PM

Well of course, they want something fast and a truck that's going to last a long time while they joy ride.

Way to go, you just made the comment of the year.

And now for some real news....

Today Ford recalls certain Lincoln MKCs, Ford Exploders due to engine cooling problem. The vehicles are equipped with 2.3L GTDI engines and engine block heaters. These engine block heaters have elements that may overheat while plugged in.

The automaker says overheating of the engine block increase the risk of a FIRE.

Wow that's unusual a Ford on fire....

@Jeff S

Please go back to 2012-2013 and re-read what we were debating in those PUTC commentaries back then!

I said that commodities were pricey because the currency was weak and today the they are cheap because the dollar is stronger, even if it is a little softer than it was late last year.

As a result, the demand for scrap steel or aluminum alloy is probably less exciting than it was during the last 10 years. For the scrap dealers it will pass, they're used to it.

For the recyclers who have big investments in equipment and storage, not so much. they cannot wait for the demand to pick up.

I have a empty 6 pack of cans that will be turned into a new meltable F-150 !

Ford fans watch when your Aluminum truck is on fire ,it melts fast..MELTS to nothing,ever see a rig after a fire and only the engine block and frame/wheels are left,Ford trucks are melt masters.

Ford fans watch when your Aluminum truck is on fire ,it melts fast..MELTS to nothing,ever see a rig after a fire and only the engine block and frame/wheels are left,Ford trucks are melt masters.

Posted by: Furd | Apr 27, 2016 4:56:22 PM

And your point is????????????????????

Too bad their trucks and SUVs help destroy the earth about 10000x faster. Helping the earth... what a joke of an article

The comments to this entry are closed.