Car hacks / Mods no image

Published on May 14th, 2008 | by Clayton

88

A Truck That Runs on Coffee Grounds (and How Wood-Gas Powers Cars With Garbage)

Cafe Racer, Wood gas truck, wood gas generator

Photo Credits: deborah sherman photography

The Cafe Racer Truck Runs on 100% Recycled Coffee Grounds

A commenter on Ben’s wood-powered truck post pointed us to a similar car hack. The truck above is also powered by a wood gas generator, except this one runs on coffee grounds. The Cafe Racer is a 1975 GMC pickup that essentially burns up used coffee to create a combustible gas. The gas is filtered on its way to the engine and, Viola, a caffeine-powered truck.

It’s interesting to note that this and the last vehicle mentioned are promoting a specific fuel (wood and coffee grounds), since the onboard wood gas generators can gasify almost any type of combustible material.

Gasification is a non-selective method using heat and a controlled amount of oxygen to convert biomass into a flammable vapor. In addition to Coffee Grounds, the Cafe Racer could use wood chips, old tires, and municipal trash, almost anything—which, by the way, is the same technology Coskata is using to make cellulosic ethanol out of garbage.

As Wikipedia puts it, gasification “was an important and familiar 19th century technology” that was commonly used until petroleum took over around the close of WWII. Although popular at that time, wood gas conversions are a bit of a throw back, but you never know what could gain popularity as gas prices continue to rise. Additionally, wood gas generators aren’t restricted to vehicles, and have found use in heating, cooking, and electricity production.

So how can a wood gas generator power a truck?

The reason a wood gas generator can power cars and trucks is that the internal combustion engine is actually powered by vapor, not liquid. In a gasoline-powered engine, gasoline is vaporized before entering the combustion chamber. Diesel is a little different; it’s sprayed into the combustion chamber as fine droplets which burn as they vaporize. Either way, if you can put a clean combustible vapor into the engine, you’ve got power*.

(*Just to mention where this information is coming from, I thought I’d point out this interesting factoid: back in 1989, FEMA sponsored a series of “emergency technology assessments” that included a book on gasification conversions. The title of the book is “Construction of a Simplified Wood Gas Generator for Fueling Internal Combustion Engines in a Petroleum emergency.”)

Gasifying a solid material partially burns it, which preserves some of the energy that would normally be wasted in the gas (otherwise there wouldn’t be anything left for the engine to burn). The gas contains a mixture of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen (N), and a small amount of methane (CH4).

The big question for wood gas use is (as usual), how do these systems compare to other petroleum alternatives in terms of environmental impact? The group behind Cafe Racer claims that it’s a carbon-negative demonstration vehicle, but they don’t substantiate that on their website. I wasn’t able to find much on the issue, except the risk of death from carbon monoxide poisoning in poorly designed systems, but my gut instinct tells me this isn’t the cleanest way to get around. If you know of a resource on the emissions of wood gas generators, please send it my way.

The important point here isn’t so much that you can run a truck on wood gas produced from waste materials (even though that’s pretty cool), but that this technology could play a major role in producing petroleum alternatives in the near future (more on that later).

If you enjoyed reading about this, check out these links, and see more pictures of the Cafe Racer below:

Posts Related To Wood Gas Generators and Other Car Hacks:

Cafe Racer, Wood gas truck, wood gas generator

Cafe Racer, Wood gas truck, wood gas generator

Photo Credit: deborah sherman photography: http://www.deborahsherman.com/, (studiodeb on Flickr). Used by permission (thanks!).




Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


About the Author

In a past life, Clayton was a professional blogger and editor of Gas 2.0, Important Media’s blog covering the future of sustainable transportation. He was also the Managing Editor for GO Media, the predecessor to Important Media.



  • http://quantumchat.blogspot.com/ Serena

    I really wonder about all these vehicles running on other stuff other than petrol and diesel. I have read water converted to fuel, ethanol (this has been proven, I think) and now coffee grounds. If only the manufacturers would start mass production on these alternatives. Don’t know what would happen to the economy and environment for the matter.

  • http://quantumchat.blogspot.com/ Serena

    I really wonder about all these vehicles running on other stuff other than petrol and diesel. I have read water converted to fuel, ethanol (this has been proven, I think) and now coffee grounds. If only the manufacturers would start mass production on these alternatives. Don’t know what would happen to the economy and environment for the matter.

  • Davidpeace

    Well, it’s a start. Unfortunately, it’s still burning carbon-based sources. But it is a start.

    • Tommy Manse

      Everything is a carbon based source, we are on Earth. The entire planet is carbon based, but these carbon based biomass sources are just going to release these GHG’s into the atmosphere anyway, through decomposition, at least the majority of them can be burned, leaving less of them to damage our planet, and providing an economical and sustainable fuel to humans worldwide. To hell with oil and their fuel prices exceeding $3 per gallon. When I started driving it was 87 cents per gallon for regular unleaded, and the only way the oil companies will let it go to those prices again, is when we turn on them completely, as a people. We can live better lives without petroleum based fuels. Thank God for wood gasification, and the ingenuity that created it and remembered it. Everytime the oil companies get too big for their breaches, the economy suffers recession.

  • Davidpeace

    Well, it’s a start. Unfortunately, it’s still burning carbon-based sources. But it is a start.

  • Wm

    I guess everyone is so stunned by the looks of this thing that they are not commenting.

  • Wm

    I guess everyone is so stunned by the looks of this thing that they are not commenting.

  • beware

    that thing looks pretty safe too

    and im sure coffee gives great milage

    and smells great

  • beware

    that thing looks pretty safe too

    and im sure coffee gives great milage

    and smells great

  • http://www.gas2.0.org Gemstar88

    if these wood gas generators can turn almost any type of combustible material into vapor, I’m curious who would be willing to try using cow pies?

  • http://www.gas2.0.org Gemstar88

    if these wood gas generators can turn almost any type of combustible material into vapor, I’m curious who would be willing to try using cow pies?

  • mike

    wow man!!!!! amazing ….

  • mike

    wow man!!!!! amazing ….

  • http://www.ryanclarkdesign.com Clark.R

    Haha, now all we need is a giant with a midget riding on his back, along with full access to the ThunderDome! w00t! That truck is RIGHT out of Mad Maxx, except better I guess… I would much rather digg around in coffee all day than pig shite.

    C.R.

  • http://www.ryanclarkdesign.com Clark.R

    Haha, now all we need is a giant with a midget riding on his back, along with full access to the ThunderDome! w00t! That truck is RIGHT out of Mad Maxx, except better I guess… I would much rather digg around in coffee all day than pig shite.

    C.R.

  • http://aguanomics.com/ David Zetland

    I don’t know if you wanted to refer to a large violin, but I would have said “voilà” :)

  • http://aguanomics.com/ David Zetland

    I don’t know if you wanted to refer to a large violin, but I would have said “voilà” :)

  • Gerry Power

    Really love the duct tape. Red Green would be proud.

  • Gerry Power

    Really love the duct tape. Red Green would be proud.

  • http://www.furniturestoreblog.com John

    Good find on the truck.

  • http://www.furniturestoreblog.com John

    Good find on the truck.

  • mg

    not exactly back to the future looking, is it?

  • mg

    not exactly back to the future looking, is it?

  • http://slackerfactor.com/ Rob Ristroph

    I have been reading about this subject and gathering links for quite a while. Here are my notes, and some of the more interesting looking vehicles:

    http://rgr.freeshell.org/woodgas/

    A really cool 1940s style Swedish car with a hang-over-the-bumper gasifier: http://www.gengas.nu/bilder/finbil.shtml

    WWII German Kubelwagen and Volkswagen Beetles: http://ww2.whidbey.net/jameslux/woodgas.htm (click on the links in that page to see the pictures)

    A variety of different vehicles, mostly experiments from the ’70s energy crisis time: http://woodgas.com/History.htm

    I would like to see a stationary gasifier built, where the synthesis gas could be fed into a refinery-style “upgrader” and produce gasoline or diesel.

  • http://slackerfactor.com/ Rob Ristroph

    I have been reading about this subject and gathering links for quite a while. Here are my notes, and some of the more interesting looking vehicles:

    http://rgr.freeshell.org/woodgas/

    A really cool 1940s style Swedish car with a hang-over-the-bumper gasifier: http://www.gengas.nu/bilder/finbil.shtml

    WWII German Kubelwagen and Volkswagen Beetles: http://ww2.whidbey.net/jameslux/woodgas.htm (click on the links in that page to see the pictures)

    A variety of different vehicles, mostly experiments from the ’70s energy crisis time: http://woodgas.com/History.htm

    I would like to see a stationary gasifier built, where the synthesis gas could be fed into a refinery-style “upgrader” and produce gasoline or diesel.

  • Amit uppal

    Hi Guys,

    this is a wonderful thing

    i am really amazed to read about it

    good luck !!!!!!

  • Amit uppal

    Hi Guys,

    this is a wonderful thing

    i am really amazed to read about it

    good luck !!!!!!

  • Randy Pumpernickel

    Only one question needs to be answered:

    What kind of MPCC ( Miles Per Cup of Coffee ) does it get?

  • Randy Pumpernickel

    Only one question needs to be answered:

    What kind of MPCC ( Miles Per Cup of Coffee ) does it get?

  • joe coggins

    Back in the 70’s the Mother Earth News produced a wood gas truck that won the alterative fuels coast to coastRace The truck was a monster 454 big block . the gasification was not very big the fuel source was wood chips .The plans were available for a long time from them ,they still may be

  • joe coggins

    Back in the 70’s the Mother Earth News produced a wood gas truck that won the alterative fuels coast to coastRace The truck was a monster 454 big block . the gasification was not very big the fuel source was wood chips .The plans were available for a long time from them ,they still may be

  • http://cheatbuzz.com/ Fangsinmybeard

    This seems like a obvious thing to ask, but doesn’t burning something create CO2? To make gasification possible you have to heat the material, right. Unless you’re using a battery powered electric burner, you have to burn something else to produce the heat, making more CO2, to burn some gasified material, which makes even more CO2. Kinda defeats the purpose of reducing CO2. Does anyone have a stupid hammer around, so that I can smack myself in the forehead in order to understand this insane concept?

    • http://Web Trollin

      Old post but I would like to point out that unless one walks everywhere they go there is nothing that is CO2 free. If anything the poster should take a stupid hammer and wack himself in the face and realize in life there is precious little that is carbon free.

  • http://cheatbuzz.com/ Fangsinmybeard

    This seems like a obvious thing to ask, but doesn’t burning something create CO2? To make gasification possible you have to heat the material, right. Unless you’re using a battery powered electric burner, you have to burn something else to produce the heat, making more CO2, to burn some gasified material, which makes even more CO2. Kinda defeats the purpose of reducing CO2. Does anyone have a stupid hammer around, so that I can smack myself in the forehead in order to understand this insane concept?

  • Chuck

    Is it legal to do all this stuff? Burn would and coffee grounds? I mean it probably causes quite a lot of smell and air pollution. On the same question, there’s all this talk about running cars on oxyhydrogen, which is supposed to be safer than hydrogen, according to this website http://www.water4gas-scam.com My question is even that stuff illegal or are people allowed to do any kind of modification to their cars and run on the streets. Who cares if they harm their own car or health? But what about the innocent bystanders? What’s the law on that in the USA?

  • Chuck

    Is it legal to do all this stuff? Burn would and coffee grounds? I mean it probably causes quite a lot of smell and air pollution. On the same question, there’s all this talk about running cars on oxyhydrogen, which is supposed to be safer than hydrogen, according to this website http://www.water4gas-scam.com My question is even that stuff illegal or are people allowed to do any kind of modification to their cars and run on the streets. Who cares if they harm their own car or health? But what about the innocent bystanders? What’s the law on that in the USA?

  • http://www.autocar-live.com AutoCar-Live

    I have submitted your article to http://www.autocar-live.com which is a social site where users can submit car/auto articles and vote for already submitted articles.

  • http://www.autocar-live.com AutoCar-Live

    I have submitted your article to http://www.autocar-live.com which is a social site where users can submit car/auto articles and vote for already submitted articles.

  • http://caferacercrew.com chicken

    Well to answer the CO2 question and provide you with the hammer you require, think of a gasifier as a stove, and the engine of the car as a re-burner. The temperature of the fires are very differnt, the car engine being more then twice as hot. So the exaust of the pyrolosis of the gasifier is introduced as fuel to the car engine, but with a hotter fire. There is hardly anyting left after the re-burner. The CO2 produced is the same CO2 that the coffee would have off-gassed had it been thrown on the ground. There is no methane that I am aware of. It’s all in the tuning, of course. And there are many problems. But if you take the ash that is left after the fire and throw it in your garden, the mineral element left is like crack cocaine to plants, making them grow faster. Removing CO2 from the air, closed loop and potentially carbon negative. Yea, well I’m workin’ over here… enjoy.

    chicken

  • http://caferacercrew.com chicken

    Well to answer the CO2 question and provide you with the hammer you require, think of a gasifier as a stove, and the engine of the car as a re-burner. The temperature of the fires are very differnt, the car engine being more then twice as hot. So the exaust of the pyrolosis of the gasifier is introduced as fuel to the car engine, but with a hotter fire. There is hardly anyting left after the re-burner. The CO2 produced is the same CO2 that the coffee would have off-gassed had it been thrown on the ground. There is no methane that I am aware of. It’s all in the tuning, of course. And there are many problems. But if you take the ash that is left after the fire and throw it in your garden, the mineral element left is like crack cocaine to plants, making them grow faster. Removing CO2 from the air, closed loop and potentially carbon negative. Yea, well I’m workin’ over here… enjoy.

    chicken

  • http://her-home-blog.com Rosemary

    Wow! This would be easy for me to fill. All those cups of coffee would come in handy.

    Rosemary

    http://her-home-blog.com

  • http://her-home-blog.com Rosemary

    Wow! This would be easy for me to fill. All those cups of coffee would come in handy.

    Rosemary

    http://her-home-blog.com

  • Pingback: Paul McCartney’s Lexus Hybrid Gets 4 MPG : Gas 2.0

  • Stuart

    The claim of “carbon negative” or “carbon neutral” is based on this…

    The biomass would rot openly, releasing its carbon compounds directly to the atmosphere if it weren’t burned in the gasifier/internal combustion engine. In addition, any stray carbon molecules in the incoming air will likewise be fully combusted by the process.

    Using underground hydrocarbons takes the complex carbon molecules which are trapped underground and digs them up, burns them incompletely, and releases the resultant gases to the atmosphere.

    That is the basis of the “carbon negative” or “carbon neutral” claim to a biomass gasification powered automobile. Besides, the simple carbon molecules used (CH4, CO, H2) do burn significantly more cleanly than the more complex fuels, resulting in mainly CO2 and H2O as exhaust gases.

    Contrary to popular propaganda, CO2 is NOT a pollutant. Claims of “global warming” caused by CO2 emissions are unfounded, and being put forth to tighten control on the necessities of life, thereby ruling more completely an allegedly free people. The average global temperature is just now back up to average over the last 30k years or so, so there is no imminent danger therefrom. Expecting a stable environment is an absurdity, as the only constant in the universe is change. For the 600 odd scientists who have publicly endorsed the global-warming-as-a-result-of-man’s actions bit, there are thousands who question it, but they are not publicized as their beliefs have no political use. Don’t be sold on the voodoo science of political expedience.

    It is purely a political question and merchantilist forces which cause the average gasoline powered vehicle to day to be no more efficient than they were almost 100 years ago. Yes, they don’t pollute as much, but they consume as much fuel as ever, and waste an incredible amount of energy as waste heat just to burn “clean”, and are forced to be technologically primitive compared to what they should actually be.

    I know a man who runs all of his vehicles on wood or in a hybrid mode of woodgas and gasoline, or even propane, except the one electric he has. His vehicles range from a 1662 Studebaker to his newest conversion…a 1993 Chevy Silverado. He does very little driving by choice, but when he does go somewhere, he uses scrap wood harvested from his back yard to do it. This man had a hybrid electric VW beetle in 1977, using a 2 1/2 horsepower briggs with an alternator as a remote energy source. He would plug it in to charge it…drive somewhere, start the briggs to replenish the charge while he was about his business and drive back home. The briggs also provided heat in winter.

  • Stuart

    The claim of “carbon negative” or “carbon neutral” is based on this…

    The biomass would rot openly, releasing its carbon compounds directly to the atmosphere if it weren’t burned in the gasifier/internal combustion engine. In addition, any stray carbon molecules in the incoming air will likewise be fully combusted by the process.

    Using underground hydrocarbons takes the complex carbon molecules which are trapped underground and digs them up, burns them incompletely, and releases the resultant gases to the atmosphere.

    That is the basis of the “carbon negative” or “carbon neutral” claim to a biomass gasification powered automobile. Besides, the simple carbon molecules used (CH4, CO, H2) do burn significantly more cleanly than the more complex fuels, resulting in mainly CO2 and H2O as exhaust gases.

    Contrary to popular propaganda, CO2 is NOT a pollutant. Claims of “global warming” caused by CO2 emissions are unfounded, and being put forth to tighten control on the necessities of life, thereby ruling more completely an allegedly free people. The average global temperature is just now back up to average over the last 30k years or so, so there is no imminent danger therefrom. Expecting a stable environment is an absurdity, as the only constant in the universe is change. For the 600 odd scientists who have publicly endorsed the global-warming-as-a-result-of-man’s actions bit, there are thousands who question it, but they are not publicized as their beliefs have no political use. Don’t be sold on the voodoo science of political expedience.

    It is purely a political question and merchantilist forces which cause the average gasoline powered vehicle to day to be no more efficient than they were almost 100 years ago. Yes, they don’t pollute as much, but they consume as much fuel as ever, and waste an incredible amount of energy as waste heat just to burn “clean”, and are forced to be technologically primitive compared to what they should actually be.

    I know a man who runs all of his vehicles on wood or in a hybrid mode of woodgas and gasoline, or even propane, except the one electric he has. His vehicles range from a 1662 Studebaker to his newest conversion…a 1993 Chevy Silverado. He does very little driving by choice, but when he does go somewhere, he uses scrap wood harvested from his back yard to do it. This man had a hybrid electric VW beetle in 1977, using a 2 1/2 horsepower briggs with an alternator as a remote energy source. He would plug it in to charge it…drive somewhere, start the briggs to replenish the charge while he was about his business and drive back home. The briggs also provided heat in winter.

  • wayne keith

    Everywhere I drive is on wood or some other biomass.

    It has been over three years sence I have driven anywhere on gasoline and I am averaging over 300 hundred miles per week. About 40,000 miles in the last four years. Last fall I made a trip from the gulf coast to the Great Lakes and back ( 900 miles in 18 hours). This fall I will be on a Cross county tour from the east coast to the west coast and back .

    This system is carbon neutral. The energy I use today to drive, is replaced today.

    Thanks

    Wayne Keith

  • wayne keith

    Everywhere I drive is on wood or some other biomass.

    It has been over three years sence I have driven anywhere on gasoline and I am averaging over 300 hundred miles per week. About 40,000 miles in the last four years. Last fall I made a trip from the gulf coast to the Great Lakes and back ( 900 miles in 18 hours). This fall I will be on a Cross county tour from the east coast to the west coast and back .

    This system is carbon neutral. The energy I use today to drive, is replaced today.

    Thanks

    Wayne Keith

  • jj flash

    where are the scientists and innovators on this subject? it seems that somebody could have redesigned this working concept into an easily re-produceable model. also, where are some understandable drawings on this process? all that I’ve seen are either hand scratched on paper or line drawn & almost unreadable.

    gasoline is fastly approaching $4 per gallon in the USA & I’m ready to try an alternative!

  • jj flash

    where are the scientists and innovators on this subject? it seems that somebody could have redesigned this working concept into an easily re-produceable model. also, where are some understandable drawings on this process? all that I’ve seen are either hand scratched on paper or line drawn & almost unreadable.

    gasoline is fastly approaching $4 per gallon in the USA & I’m ready to try an alternative!

  • http://gas2.org Clayton B. Cornell

    Stuart,

    I’ve got to say that’s the most original conspiracy theory I’ve ever heard about global warming. Anything can be a “pollutant” if you get to much of it (ie if it throws natural cycles out of wack), and CO2 is no exception.

  • http://gas2.org Clayton B. Cornell

    Stuart,

    I’ve got to say that’s the most original conspiracy theory I’ve ever heard about global warming. Anything can be a “pollutant” if you get to much of it (ie if it throws natural cycles out of wack), and CO2 is no exception.

  • Bead

    $4 per gallon? This is a crisis… considering that with the exception of some oil-rich countries the USA enjoys the cheapest refined fuel prices in the known universe.

    On current exchange rates with the US dollar, fuel costs approx $11 per gallon in London and fast approaching $7 per gallon in Australia and New Zealand.

    So alternative fuels are a great idea, but they are not without their drawbacks. I tailed this truck for 20 mins and was overcome by its emissions. Instantly I craved a cigarette, had an overwhelming desire to take a dump and I just couldn’t get to sleep that night.

  • Bead

    $4 per gallon? This is a crisis… considering that with the exception of some oil-rich countries the USA enjoys the cheapest refined fuel prices in the known universe.

    On current exchange rates with the US dollar, fuel costs approx $11 per gallon in London and fast approaching $7 per gallon in Australia and New Zealand.

    So alternative fuels are a great idea, but they are not without their drawbacks. I tailed this truck for 20 mins and was overcome by its emissions. Instantly I craved a cigarette, had an overwhelming desire to take a dump and I just couldn’t get to sleep that night.

  • Mike

    According to several {hundred} sources on the net, burning clean wood (or coffee or any other plant life) is carbon neutral as they only release the same amount of carbon they have stored over there lifetimes and also to add to that anyone chopping the trees down in the first place should be planting new ones which should more than overly compensate for running a wood gas generator… sounds like a good use for old technology to me

  • Mike

    According to several {hundred} sources on the net, burning clean wood (or coffee or any other plant life) is carbon neutral as they only release the same amount of carbon they have stored over there lifetimes and also to add to that anyone chopping the trees down in the first place should be planting new ones which should more than overly compensate for running a wood gas generator… sounds like a good use for old technology to me

  • ka2atonic

    very cool i think it is a great idea

  • ka2atonic

    very cool i think it is a great idea

  • http://www.coffeeman.co.nz Andrew

    i have been wondering for a while if something like ethonol based fuel is achievable from used Grinds, and i kinda came to the conclusion that most of the sugars etc needed to produce some are used. Am very keen to know if there is a way to do so.. would love to run my vespa on “coffee”..

  • http://www.coffeeman.co.nz Andrew

    i have been wondering for a while if something like ethonol based fuel is achievable from used Grinds, and i kinda came to the conclusion that most of the sugars etc needed to produce some are used. Am very keen to know if there is a way to do so.. would love to run my vespa on “coffee”..

  • Uncle B

    The awkward American! Try bio-diesel from algae in a VW turbo, bio-diesel electric hybrid with plug-in. They have been built, but are not to American tastes and sensibilities yet! but $5.00 gal gas can change that elitist taste for the large and ugly!

  • Uncle B

    The awkward American! Try bio-diesel from algae in a VW turbo, bio-diesel electric hybrid with plug-in. They have been built, but are not to American tastes and sensibilities yet! but $5.00 gal gas can change that elitist taste for the large and ugly!

  • Pingback: wood gas generator

  • Dan

    I think that its great

    Most people do not realize that wood gas or town gas was the first gas delivered to light homes from what I have read it burns cleaner than natural gas releasing less co2. Just about every ounce of garbage you throw out can as well be turned into syngas which as well combusted and used to run a cogeneration unit that will turn it into electricity.

    Lets all just sit on our hands and do nothing like our congresman and senators half of which belong in a home were they could eat oatmeal and drool on themselves.

    Be sure to vote Democratic if you want to be riding the bus in 2009, You can use the change you voted for

    to go pick up your food stamps which you will need as if we do not find alternatives to becoming energy independant none of us will have jobs.

  • Dan

    I think that its great

    Most people do not realize that wood gas or town gas was the first gas delivered to light homes from what I have read it burns cleaner than natural gas releasing less co2. Just about every ounce of garbage you throw out can as well be turned into syngas which as well combusted and used to run a cogeneration unit that will turn it into electricity.

    Lets all just sit on our hands and do nothing like our congresman and senators half of which belong in a home were they could eat oatmeal and drool on themselves.

    Be sure to vote Democratic if you want to be riding the bus in 2009, You can use the change you voted for

    to go pick up your food stamps which you will need as if we do not find alternatives to becoming energy independant none of us will have jobs.

  • alexandre hasperoy avila

    eu gosto muito de carro movido a madeira gas (wood gas) por isso estou fazendo um gaseificador para uma camionete chevrolet s10 2.2 ano 95 queria muito comcluir e ter resultados para criar uma empresa de fabrica de gaseificadores, sou entusiasta na enegia alternativa (solar,hidraulica,eolica,madeira reflorestada)tudo que se possa fazer para recuperar o PLANETA TERRA NOSSO LAR . abracos e todos envolvidos na energia renovavel entre em contato

    alexandre avila

  • alexandre hasperoy avila

    eu gosto muito de carro movido a madeira gas (wood gas) por isso estou fazendo um gaseificador para uma camionete chevrolet s10 2.2 ano 95 queria muito comcluir e ter resultados para criar uma empresa de fabrica de gaseificadores, sou entusiasta na enegia alternativa (solar,hidraulica,eolica,madeira reflorestada)tudo que se possa fazer para recuperar o PLANETA TERRA NOSSO LAR . abracos e todos envolvidos na energia renovavel entre em contato

    alexandre avila

  • mel

    A demonstration project, just to show it CAN be done. A starting place. The Starbucks downtown is giving away their used coffee grounds, wonder if…..

  • mel

    A demonstration project, just to show it CAN be done. A starting place. The Starbucks downtown is giving away their used coffee grounds, wonder if…..

  • Frank

    Of course what you are forgetting to mention is that this burns shit (or you know, wood… coffee grounds, or whatever) to make the gas that powers the engine. Burning shit means putting pollutants in the air. Lots of them. These type of cars where as you say once popular, and was also the main cause of the worst SMOG of last century.

    So… not exactly a step forward to go back to this.

    • Pfeff

      What you are forgetting is that the wood gas really doesn’t produce much in the way of pollution. The smoke is almost non existent. As a long term solution it’s not practical but I don’t think you have done much research on the advances of the technology. There is a company working a generator type of system that can burn trash with much lower emissions than fossil fuels and a way to get rid of trash at the same time. one went to the US Army and if it works out we might actually be able to stop looking for places to put our trash.

      • Reality

        But what you’re forgetting is that the issue isn’t the wood gas being burned to fuel the truck. There is also a combustion process used to create the wood gas, and that is very dirty. This is bogus science, the same way that hydrogen is touted as pollution free without accounting for the energy needed to produce that clean fuel.

  • Frank

    Of course what you are forgetting to mention is that this burns shit (or you know, wood… coffee grounds, or whatever) to make the gas that powers the engine. Burning shit means putting pollutants in the air. Lots of them. These type of cars where as you say once popular, and was also the main cause of the worst SMOG of last century.

    So… not exactly a step forward to go back to this.

  • Les Young

    I helped work on this project. You’d be surprised how much better the exhaust smelled when the wood-gas lever is pulled. You need to start the truck on gasoline & let the engine warm up. This also gets the vacuum action going. Then you pull a lever & you begin sucking the wood-gas from the unit. The truck instantly goes from a typical American old truck exhaust smell to almost no smell at all. You still get carbon monoxide & can die in a sealed room, etc. But I bet it would take a little longer. It really is much cleaner than gasoline. The gasification process itself burns up a lot of the harmful by-products as well.

  • Les Young

    I helped work on this project. You’d be surprised how much better the exhaust smelled when the wood-gas lever is pulled. You need to start the truck on gasoline & let the engine warm up. This also gets the vacuum action going. Then you pull a lever & you begin sucking the wood-gas from the unit. The truck instantly goes from a typical American old truck exhaust smell to almost no smell at all. You still get carbon monoxide & can die in a sealed room, etc. But I bet it would take a little longer. It really is much cleaner than gasoline. The gasification process itself burns up a lot of the harmful by-products as well.

  • Sam Conner

    I suspect that the carbon-negative claim is related to the use of the residual char (after the combustible gas is driven off, there will be a fine-grained charcoal left). I have read that this is an excellent soil amendment for agriculture(Google “biochar” or “terra preta”). If one puts the char into the soil, it will sequester the residual carbon, so that the total carbon balance may be negative (depending on how much fossil fuel is consumed in growing and transporting the coffee). I have read that biochar remains in the soil for a long time (the terra preta soils of the Amazon basin are quite old), so this could be a useful carbon sequestration approach.

  • Sam Conner

    I suspect that the carbon-negative claim is related to the use of the residual char (after the combustible gas is driven off, there will be a fine-grained charcoal left). I have read that this is an excellent soil amendment for agriculture(Google “biochar” or “terra preta”). If one puts the char into the soil, it will sequester the residual carbon, so that the total carbon balance may be negative (depending on how much fossil fuel is consumed in growing and transporting the coffee). I have read that biochar remains in the soil for a long time (the terra preta soils of the Amazon basin are quite old), so this could be a useful carbon sequestration approach.

  • robin muric

    If only I could get my hands on a set of plans,I would build a unit for myself and test it. I truly believe in this teck. and others also.

  • robin muric

    If only I could get my hands on a set of plans,I would build a unit for myself and test it. I truly believe in this teck. and others also.

  • http://none G4331

    Look people,

    The government isn’t really interested in efficient vehicles or alternative fuel sources. This is a ruse for what they are really wanting, which is: no vehicles for anyone except people that they deem special or has a need for a vehicle. In 1999, an Iowa farmer answered Washington’s call for a better fueled vehicle with his Dodge D-50 compact pick up. The gas engine was converted to run on hydrogen. Al Gore met the man and threatened him. The farmer went back to Iowa with his putz in his hand. Secondly, the “evil” oil companies will be vary angry at you for screwing up the free enterprise system with all of these GD alternative fuels. Do you really want to make your point by having yourself, spouse and your babies machine gunned down in front of God and everybody? The authorities will look the other way at Uncle Sam’s behest. This kind of thinking starts fights and I do not want fights with Big Brother, because guess who always wins? Give me gas, oil and poison air anyday! You want to clean up something? Clean the water supply. Forget this vehicle business. The way to cure vehicle woes is to not vote liberals into office. If nothing else, at least be honest here and tell me how to take vehicles away from people and re-distribute them to a worthy class of people.

  • http://ceusa.com Mike

    How many grounds per mile? Looks like something from mad maxx

    When that car was a normal gas vehicle it was not very efficient because of the size & weight.

    Using this gasification system in a lighter vehicle like a honda civic would produce much better results if eco friendly is what you are trying to achieve.

    For a system like this you have to start a fire which burns the grounds which melts the polar ice caps.

    Burning things to make energy is a step backward and will just melt the ice caps quicker. Millions of cars running on what is basically a fireplace is not any better for us than running on oil except that trees and coffee grounds are renewable.

    Solar and wind to make energy is a much better option, now we just need better energy storage solutions.

    • jim dorey

      the faster a fuel returns to original form, the less damage it does to the environment, oil takes MILLIONS of years to get back to oil, trees take 5-25 years, grains and coffee takes less than a year, some grains take less than a year for multiple crops, some feedstocks can do 4+ crops a year. someone growing more than they’d need for fuel, perhaps using it to build something, without burning it, that’s carbon negative, it’s the famed carbon sequestering technology that the oil companies would never use, grow a tree.

    • Pfeff

      Well when you burn trees and Coffee grounds they are carbon neutral. Meaning trees and plants contain so as they rot over time it releases the carbon. So using it like that doesn’t affect the environment. Most people doing this aren’t going around chopping down trees either they are getting the items such as coffee grounds and scrap wood. And the reason it wouldn’t be as effective on a smaller car the wood gas has about 35% less power than Gasoline. So you usually want an over powered Truck V8 for example so that you could still attain free way speeds. Plus as you can see on the back of the truck the wood gas process takes up a lot of space. The emissions are pretty low too as well.

  • http://ceusa.com Mike

    How many grounds per mile? Looks like something from mad maxx

    When that car was a normal gas vehicle it was not very efficient because of the size & weight.

    Using this gasification system in a lighter vehicle like a honda civic would produce much better results if eco friendly is what you are trying to achieve.

    For a system like this you have to start a fire which burns the grounds which melts the polar ice caps.

    Burning things to make energy is a step backward and will just melt the ice caps quicker. Millions of cars running on what is basically a fireplace is not any better for us than running on oil except that trees and coffee grounds are renewable.

    Solar and wind to make energy is a much better option, now we just need better energy storage solutions.

  • http://www.corner-desk.org Name (required)

    Yes, absolutely I agree that this technology could play a major role in producing petroleum alternatives in the near future (more on that later). Thanks for nice post. It inspires me.

  • http://WWW.COLORSMAGAZINE.COM GIULIA

    Hi, my name is Giulia and I work for COLORS Magazine.
    COLORS is a quarterly magazine based in Italy, but translated into 5 languages and distributed all around the world.
    Please visit our website for references:
    http://Www.colorsmagazine.com

    Our next issue will be entirely dedicated to the world of sustainable transport and we’d like to feature a photo of the Coffee Ground Truck in our magazine:
    http://gas2.org/2008/05/14/a-truck-that-runs-on-coffee-grounds-and-how-wood-gas-powers-cars-with-garbage/

    Unfortunately our deadline is quite tied, so I hope to hear from you soon (would be great to get the pic back by today!!!!).
    Thank you for your time.
    Have a nice day!

    Giulia De Meo
    COLORS Magazine
    Executive Editor
    Web Editor
    http://www.colorsmagazine.com
    +39 0422 516225

  • http://web vishal singla

    ya its true i first watch it on national geography ….

  • Pingback: Eat Drink Better | Healthy recipes, good food: sustainable eats for a healthy lifestyle!

  • Pingback: Eat Drink Better | Healthy recipes, good food: sustainable eats for a healthy lifestyle!

Back to Top ↑