Tag: biodiesel

All Aboard the Beef Train–Amtrak Debuts a Train Running on Beef Biofuel

By Smriti Rao | April 27, 2010 11:19 am

amtrakIf you thought a cow was good only for its milk and meat, then we’d have you know that somewhere between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth, Texas, there is an Amtrak train chugging along on moo-power.

Amtrak is currently running its Heartland Flyer train on a mix of traditional diesel fuel and biodiesel produced from cow products, in an experiment that Amtrak argues could make railroads more eco-friendly.

The Heartland Flyer uses about 100,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year to move 84,000 people. For this one-year test run, Amtrak will replace 20 percent of that fuel with biodiesel, produced from tallow from Texas cows. The fat from the cattle, which is normally used to make animal feed and soap, will now instead help power a train.

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An Edible Race Car? New Formula 3 Car Made Out of Vegetables

By Rachel Cernansky | May 5, 2009 3:52 pm

f3.jpgA Formula 3 car that’s compost-able? Probably not completely, but if it’s made from potatoes and soybean foam, it must be pretty close!

The ecoF3, developed in Britain, has a steering wheel made from carrots, outer bodywork made from potatoes, and an interior seat made from soybeans. The biodiesel engine runs on chocolate extracts and vegetable oil, and plant-based lubricants grease the car’s moving parts.

The car will not be permitted to compete in championships since the fuel prevents it from meeting regulations, but its developer says it would deliver the same performance as a more conventional race car—and probably be more fun to watch! (Especially if any loose parts fall off along the way—carrot sticks on the racetrack?)

Related Content:
Discoblog: The Secret to Renewable Energy May Be Rotting in Your Trash Can

Image: Flickr / Nick Bramhall

The Secret to Renewable Energy May Be Rotting in Your Trash Can

By Lizzie Buchen | April 2, 2008 1:17 pm

If you feel immobilized by the latest bump in gas prices, just follow these five simple steps:

  1. scour through the rotting dregs of your kitchen’s garbage cans, collect all animal and plant products (the fouler the better)
  2. toss a few billion garbage-loving bacteria into the decaying sludge
  3. give the microbes a few days to breed and ferment
  4. discard gelatinous muck, save all gases emitted
  5. enjoy your environmentally friendly energy!


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