Finnish Chevrolet to Run on Wood Chips

A classic 25-year-old Chevrolet has been given an eco-friendly makeover to run on wood chips.

Finnish Juha Sipila has converted his Chevrolet to power its V6 engine with a wood-burning stove that produces fumes, which are used as fuel.

His El Camino pick-up can cover 125 miles on a hundredweight and half of wood chips but carries enough timber for 800 miles.

Sipila, from Finland, claims the car can reach a top speed of almost 90 mph and he’s named it El Kamina the Finnish word for stove.

“This shows how home-grown fuels can help us to cut oil imports. We now have a society here which is for people who are interested in converting cars to wood gas,” the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.

The technology, first used during shortages of petrol in World War Two, produces emissions that are cleaner that conventional petrol or diesel engines.

Early engineers discovered that wood gas generators were ideal for use with conventional internal combustion engines, which required little adaptation.

Now soaring fuel prices and fears of global warming have sparked renewed interest in log-powered vehicles.

Fifty years ago the Swedish government set up a research programme, but it was later dropped as too cumbersome and the equipment needed to be towed in a trailer.

But now as engineers appreciate that wood gasifiers are highly efficient – about 75 percent of the fuel energy is extracted from the wood – more experiments are being carried out.

In addition the vehicles don’t need a conventional chemical battery which gives it an added advantage over electric-powered cars – and the burnt reside ash can be used as fertiliser.

Clearing out the burners – and the fact that it takes twenty minutes to get them hot enough to produce gas – are seen as minor disadvantages.



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