A Car That Runs on Organic Waste A Car That Runs on Organic Waste
The Planet

A Car That Runs on Organic Waste

by Zach Frechette

April 12, 2009
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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A Car That Runs on Organic Waste