What do they do with chocolate products they can’t sell? Off to the landfill to decompose and create methane. Wish they could just send it to me. Two young Britons, Andy Pag and John Grimshaw, have traveled more than 4,000 miles across the Sahara using such chocolate as fuel.
The two decided to prove the viability of different kinds of feedstock to produce biofuels, especially biodiesel and ethanol. They’ve done that, traveling from Poole, England to Timbuktu, Mali, 4,473 miles, using 396 gallons of fuel made from three tons of discarded chocolate.
The truck was salvaged from a scrap yard, repaired and fitted for the long trip. It will remain in Timbuktu, a donation to a local charity. The crew will also set up a small processing unit to convert waste oil products into fuel.
Their carbon footprint is being measured, and the two believe it’ll be the first carbon-negative voyage in the world.
Two biodiesel fueled four-wheel drive vehicles accompanied the truck on the trip, carrying supplies and two large plastic vats containing the fuel.
The Christian Science Monitor says the trip was not without a few hitches. Because of colder temperatures, the fuel started to freeze up, so they had to add some regular fuel. Entering Morocco sparked some bureaucratic problems which were soon resolved, and the trip continued.
More proof that it doesn’t necessarily take food crops to make biofuel. Discarded products such as chocolate, chicken fat, cooking oil – the list goes on – work just fine as fuel. It not only answers the need to replace fossil fuels, but reduces the amount of food waste going to landfills.