Friday, 12 March 2010

The caffeinated car

As part of a BBC science programme, Bang Goes the Theory, a car powered only by roasted coffee granules is being driven from London to Manchester. The idea is to show how fuels other than petrol and diesel can power vehicles. The car, a converted 1988 Volkswagen Scirocco bought for £400, has been nicknamed the Car-puccino.
The coffee is heated to 700 degrees C in a charcoal fire and breaks down into carbon monoxide and hydrogen gases which are fed into pipes on the roof and cooled down and put through a couple of filters housed in the boot, then the clean gas is fed through to the bonnet to power the engine. the Carpuccino will do up to 60 mph.

But before you rush round to your local KwikFit, at a kilo of ground coffee just to do 3 miles, this is not going to save you any dosh at the pumps! Getting up to Manchester will require about 70 kilos of coffee - so even with a cheap brand it'll set the licence payer back around a cool £1000 (sorry can't resist) - and if you're picky about your brand of espresso it could cost around 50 times the cost of good old gasoline.

If you want to save the planet, stick to drinking the stuff - or go for the chip fat solution >>read our piece on chip fat powered cars