Remember that scene in Back to the Future, where Doc comes back from 2015 with the flying DeLorean, and fills it up with banana peels as a source of fuel? Well, apparently we're getting close to that. Jim Mason and the folks at All Power Labs have created an entry for the Automotive X-Prize that is powered by gasification and biochar, which roughly speaking, is "the use of heat to transform solid biomass, or other carbonaceous solids, into a synthetic 'natural gas like' flammable fuel."Like the Aptera (which is also planning to enter the competition), the outside-the-box thinking that created the All Power Labs vehicle has also created some outside-the-box problems. For example: How do you measure the miles per gallon of a car that uses organic matter as fuel, and which produces a positive byproduct (biochar, an excellent fertilizer and carbon sequesterer)? Also consider that gasification is a carbon negative process: does that mean it wins the greenhouse gas emission part of the competition by default?These are ultimately good problems to have, and my guess is the spirit of the competition-"To inspire a new generation of viable, super-efficient vehicles that help break our addiction to oil and stem the effects of climate change"-means that the organizers will figure out how to judge the All Power Labs entry.Via. Images via FFFFound.
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