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Sure coffee fuels you, but can it fuel your car?

July 27, 2010

How will alternative fuel options change road trips in the year 2020?

This summer, I’ve noticed a lot of my friends have replaced jet-setting vacations with road trips this year (and by noticed I mean stalked via Facebook). A road trip I annually take is the 15 hour motor trek up the east coast from Atlanta to northern New Jersey to visit family. Somewhere between North Carolina and Virginia my eyelids start giving out and my gas light blinks on. It is the perfect time to stop at a gas station, fill up my feisty red civic and grab a hot cup of mediocre vending machine coffee.

“Yeah… I’ll take a small hazelnut roast and a 10 gallons of Americano for my car.”



A request like this may not be as far-fetched as it sounds. Check out this vehicle, nicknamed “car-puccino”, that runs on coffee fuel. BBC TV host Jem Stansfield converted this 1988 VW Scirocco to run on coffee grounds into flammable gasses that can be used in the engine instead of petrol. The car successfully completed a 210 mile trip from London to Manchester! Check out the full story here.

I am going to do more research to find out what it is specifically in coffee beans that make for good automobile fuel. With people doing more and more wild experiments like these, who needs oil? I can only hope that in ten years, Americans will look back and chuckle at how much conflict the battle over oil caused and zip around in their coffee fueled cars.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. kumar permalink
    July 27, 2010 20:58

    Great Post and awesome site and concept. Cristina showed it to me/told me about it.
    I’ve helped convert a car, to burn WVO(waste vegetable oil) in the summer and processed WVO(biodiesel) in the cold months.
    The problem has always been that the worldwide vegetable oil production is only a tiny fraction of the total petroleum used today.

    I wonder if the same goes for coffee. Coffee is about $0.60-0.90 a pound which would make it awesome as an alternative especially since there’s a coffee shop around every corner.

    +1 RSS subscriber.

    • July 28, 2010 10:57

      Hey Kumar — thanks for the feedback. That is true, that vegetable oil production is tiny compared to petroleum production. An interesting thing to consider is the DIY approach (Do It Yourself). What if people can produce their our alternative fuel to support themselves? Maybe people/communities can produce their own fuel intake by looking to alternatives that are locally available.

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