There is a land speed record for just about everything, from unicycles to semi-trucks, though “speed” is a relative term. Gasification, a method of powering vehicles using superheated biomass to create hydrogen fuel, has a land speed record category, and a bunch of Brits have broken their own record with a coffee-powered pickup truck.
Martin Bacon, leader of the Coffee Car project, set a blistering pace of 65.536 mph and set a new record in the Bean Machine. Using coffee grounds turned into chaff pellets, the Bean Machine uses gasification to power a Ford F100 pickup, a vehicle that has no relation to the American pickups bearing the same name. That said, we’ve seen a better-looking gasification-powered El Camino from Finland that we’d love to see drag race the Bean Machine.
Yeah, 65 mph isn’t exactly fast, but gasification is sort of a “last resort” technology that has been around for over a century. They reached their peak popularity during World War II, when gasoline was in short supply. Bacon has built other coffee-powered vehicles before, including a Volkswagen Scirocco, and a Rover SD1, but the pickup was commissioned by The Co-Operative to mark their 10th anniversary of using only fair trade coffee. Bacon last set a coffee-powered speed record in the Scirocco, averaging a 66.5 mph top speed. We assume the new record pertains to gasification-powered trucks.
Barring another world war or a sudden lack of oil, gasification is unlikely to ever catch on en masse again. These neat little side projects are a reminder that there is a speed record for everything, and alternative fuels are finally being taken (somewhat) seriously by the speedfreak crowd.
Source: The Daily Mail