Tuesday, March 9, 2010
A team of wacky scientists from BBC1’s “Bang Goes the Theory” TV show, have converted a 1988 Volkswagen Scirocco into a coffee-powered car, nicknamed Car-puccino. As revolutionary as this concept sounds, it’s more of a fun project than a cost-efficient one. The idea behind Car-puccino is relatively simple: coffee, like wood or coal, has traces of carbon in it, so it burns. Use a bucket load of coffee, heat it enough to break it down into hydrogen and carbon monoxide, direct the gases towards the engine, and you’ve got yourself a running vehicle. That sounds easy enough, but there is a down-side to using coffee as fuel. First of all, it’s between 25 and 50 times more expensive than petrol. Car-puccino is schedule to journey 210 miles, from Manchester to London, and the team estimates it will burn through 70 kilos of coffee. Multiply that by 13-26 British pounds per kilo (depending on the quality and brand) and you get some pretty big numbers. Plus, Car-puccino will have to pull over every 60 miles or so, so the crew can clean up the filters of tar. Pretty original idea, but I doubt we’ll ever see Car-puccino go into production. I wonder what the exhaust fumes smell like, though…Espresso?