Going au Naturel - Dutchmen Build Algae-Fueled Bike Made of Wood
Dutch designer Ritsert Mans and his friend Peter Mooji, a scientist, wanted to test the proposition of using algae as a fuel source. Mans undertook the development of the motorcycle while Mooji began growing algae for harvest. Mooji was working on a book, “The Thick Alagae,” charting the production of algae and its possible use as a sustainable fuel source. As reported on auto.ndtv.com, the project recently came to fruition when the duo tested the wooden motorcycle on a beach. Of course the engine and drivetrain are not made from wood but the entire concept is pretty interesting and unique.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California had tested the use of algae oil as a motorcycle fuel as far back as 2012. Scripps alumnus Kristian Gustavson teamed with Devin Chatterjie to set the fastest (and only) algae-powered motorcycle speed records at The Texas Mile land speed event in Beeville, Texas. Using a 50-50 mix of fuel from algae and cooking oil waste, rider Gustavson reached 94.6 mph. Running on full algae-based Green Crude diesel from Sapphire Energy Inc., Chatterjie recorded a top speed of 96.2 mph. .
Algae holds great promise as an alternative source of clean fuel since it can be grown in salt water and on land with no source of fresh water. On the downside, at this point in its development, algae-based fuel is three times more expensive than fossil fuels.