As the price of gas rises each month, people need new ways to fuel cars and other gas-powered machines. Over the years, enthusiasts have researched possible fuels that are not damaging to the environment and have come up with some of the weirdest fuels. Some seem so effective and practical while others are just gross – but have they worked? Whether they have worked or not, we have to give credit to those who put time and resources to research, develop and experiment on these new fuels. Here are some of the oddest eco-friendly fuels developed and tested over the years.
1) Fuel from sweet sorghum or sugarcane
This is probably the fuel of the future, these two organic foods can make perfectly good fuel when cellulosic ethanol is extracted from them. This biofuel can also be made from corn stover and switchgrass grass types and wood chips. The downside is that it demands a lot to process.
2) Turkeys. Yes, their guts are literally fuel
Americans eat an estimated 46 million turkeys during the thanksgiving holiday alone (Source). The question is, where do the turkey guts go? Some entrepreneurs from Carthage, Missouri have discovered a way to process turkey guts and other left overs including feathers into fuel oil which can be turned into diesel, jet fuel and gasoline in a process called thermo-depolymerization (TDP). The turkey guts and left overs are broken down under high heat and pressure to yield natural gas which is perfect fuel for cars and other machines.(source)
3) Imagine a high speed chocolate-powered car
Yes, you read that right. Chocolate has often been referred to as a girl’s best friend, but if it can power a fast car, then it should be a man’s friend as well. Some researchers from the University of Warwick, UK, built a Formula 3 race car whose fuel is 30% biodiesel derived from chocolate wastes. James Meredith, project leader, says that anything with fat in it can be turned into diesel and that’s what they managed to do. (Source)
4) Poop fuel
I know how it sound, and no, do not get the idea that you can just go poop in the car fuel tank and start it. A Canadian company by the name AMEC figured out how they can extract fibers in human wastes and somehow convert it into a mixture of oil, gas and char. This company used baby poop – mainly because adult poop is hard to find in containers – by collecting diapers and through a process called pyrolysis convert it to fuel. According to the company, this is one of the most aromatic and rich source of fuel and it hopes to ‘acquire 180 million diapers annually’ to produce ‘about 11 million liters of diesel’ (Source). The best part is that this biofuel is not harmful to the environment, and an excellent way to get rid of baby diapers. Two U.K. businesses, Versus Energy and Knowaste, also may have come up with a solution to that very stinky problem. Read more:
5. Human fat
You know how many people today are struggling to keep their weight low, with most choosing to put on fats then once every five years go for liposuction and other processes to get rid of fat? Well, these fats can be harvested and can be used to fuel cars. Dr. Craig Alan Bittner, a cosmetic surgeon based in Beverly Hills claims to have harvested fats from 7,000 liposuction processes he carried out and turned it into biofuel which fueled his Ford SUV as well as his girlfriend’s Lincoln Navigator (Source). He says that a gallon of fuel extracted can make a gallon of biofuel. The only problem is that it is still illegal, and until it is legalized, you could get sued if you try to turn people’s fats to fuel for your car. Lets not forget EarthRace that runs on Fat from owner Peter Bethune and 2 volunteers.
6.) Coffee Grounds
Coffee often makes us zoom around- and San Francisco resident Chicken John Rinaldi created a famous biogas-run pickup truck that he said ran on coffee grounds. While other organic materials went into the wood-gas generator on board.
7.) Water Cars
The world cannot live without water and water has been harnassed for centuries. Would you believe the first water car was patenting in the 70’s? A water car in a nutshell:Water molecules are separated into oxygen and hydrogen though electrolysis, and the hydrogen is burned directly in the engine. Some versions require distilled water and baking soda, some claim to even burn sea water.
8.) Air Cars
Tata Motors and a few others are working on a model to employ air. In a nutshell: Air is compressed in a tank and injected into the engine to move the pistons. A generator refills the air tank.
9.) Wood And Sawdust:
These natural biofuels are a result of people seeking alternative fuels – and they are a way to the future. Maybe in the future we will be seeing more of these weird fuels produced commercially.
10.) Algae To Oil
Millions have been award to convert Algae into Oil: In 2010, t( $6 million to Arizona State University for the creation of the Sustainable Algal Biofuels Consortium (SABC), $9 million to the University of California, San Diego for the creation of the Consortium for Algal Biofuels Commercialization (CABC), and $9 million to Cellana LLC Consortium in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii). This is among the hundreds of other companies that are investing into Algae as alternative fuel. In fact Continental Airline has already tested Algae fuel in their jets. (Source)
11.) Watermelon Power
According to the US Department of Agriculture, new research has pointed out pointing a large amount of easily fermentable sugars in watermelon, making it ideal to use in the production of ethanol. The USDA believes that there are enough watermelons currently wasted (20% of every annual crop) to make watermelons a viable biofuel for the future. (Source)
Other fuels, include, tobacco,, corn, leftover alcohol..
James McDonnel contributed this guest post. James is an automotive enthusiast and a freelance writer. He writes for wish.co.uk and he enjoys rare driving experiences to find out more details check their site.