The technology to turn organic waste material into usable power has been around for a shockingly long time, though the large, unwieldly systems make applications…limited. But a team of British engineers managed to set a new (low) speed record for a car powered by waste organic matter…in this case, leftover coffee grinds.
The team was lead by the awesomely-named Martin Bacon, who took an old Rover sedan and fitted it with an elaborate gasifier system that occupies most of the trunk, rear seat, and requires a whole lot of plumbing. To say this system is impractical for daily use is an understatement. Then again, it does have flames shooting out of the front fenders. That’s a big plus in my book.
But that isn’t always the point, is it? We’re talking about powering a car with an abundant waste material that is, more often than not, simply thrown out. The speed record set by the Coffee Car isn’t exactly all that impressive either; just 66.5 mph on average around a race track. Still, that was almost 20 mph faster than the previous record holder. The record is also for vehicles running on waste material, and the previous entry used wood pellets, rather than coffee grounds, which appear to be the more effective power provider. There are other coffee-powered cars roaming the British Isles too.
I’ve always wanted to hold a world record, and with such a low bar…perhaps it is time I set about building a gasifier myself…
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.