Ignition for Colombian yucca car

August 21, 2009
Yucca plants, seen here in Califormia in 2008. After a three-year slog Colombian scientists have revved up a car that runs on yucca-derived ethanol, spurring hopes that the Latin American staple could be transformed into an abundant fuel.

After a three-year slog Colombian scientists have revved up a car that runs on yucca-derived ethanol, spurring hopes that the Latin American staple could be transformed into an abundant fuel.

Boffins at the International Center for Tropical (CIAT) have adopted a commercial car to run on hydrated , based on -- a carbohydrate-rich plant root that is also known as cassava or manioc.

The vehicle has clocked up 700 kilometers (435 miles) without major hitches CIAT said.

The tuber is more commonly found on plates in low-land and tropical regions of , where it is deep fried, boiled or mashed to make a sweeter and starchier alternative to the potato.

Cars can be adopted to use the fuel with a 120 dollar kit that can be bought over the Internet CIAT said, although their pilot refinery, in western Colombia, is currently producing just 300 liters (79 gallons) a day.

Brazil, which has long led in the charge on biofuels, is Latin America's largest yucca producer, with 12 percent of world production.

Nigeria and Thailand are also large producers.

(c) 2009 AFP

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3.7 / 5 (7) Aug 21, 2009
Another BAD idea from the idiots who think that converting food to fuel and therefore into higher food prices, increasing air pollution and further driving global climate change is a good idea. IS ANYBODY HOME? HELLO? IS ANYONE OUT THERE? WHO IS RUNNING THINGS?
5 / 5 (3) Aug 21, 2009
I agree rfw, there are much better options for transportation other than using one of life's most vital and far too scarce resource - food. We can use electric cars, solar cars, water cars, and many other non-polluting and non-resource-dwindling ideas.
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 22, 2009
Electric cars: Neodymium, lithium. Electricity is an energy carrier not an energy source. You'll have to rapidly expand nuclear and ditch coal or you're better off sticking with oil and gas internal combustion engines.

Solar cars: It's faster and far cheaper to just take my bicycle rather than creep along the roads in an aerodynamic coffin.

Water cars: Perpetual motion scam.
4 / 5 (1) Aug 22, 2009
Compressed air cars, like those being created in India, seem like one very low-cost / Highly effective way to go. There is still electric energy used to compress air but the oil consumption is nil.
5 / 5 (1) Aug 22, 2009
And yucca as displayed on photo is the wrong plant. this is about the yuca(casave). They could cut some coca plants and grow this in stead.
Anyways the yuca root takes one whole year for harvesting.
5 / 5 (1) Aug 22, 2009
Correction. Yuca takes one whole year to grow before you can harvest. I used to grow some in my backyard.
4 / 5 (1) Aug 23, 2009
"rfw" has my vote. India's compressed air auto is easyist to fuel, lowest in cost, etc.
2 / 5 (1) Aug 24, 2009
Compressed air is THE MOST inefficient energy carrier possible. Almost all input energy of compression is converted to heat which quickly leaks away.
5 / 5 (2) Aug 24, 2009
Photosynthesis in ANY form is a ridiculous means of energy generation. Even the most efficient scenario is less than 1% efficient in converting sunlight to carbohydrates. A lot of that goes into unusable parts, eg. roots, leaves and stems etc. World phosphorous fertilizer reserves are in the range of less than 30 years. Competes with food.

A 1 hectare solar thermal plant will provide as much net energy out as a 300 hectare crop, even well chosen and well managed in frost-free zones with perennial plants. Ridiculous. Even using the electricity to generate methane to fuel autos directly, or hydrogen to synthesis liquid fuels from CO2 is FAR less damaging to nature.
3 / 5 (1) Aug 24, 2009
Photosynthesis has been solved and I understand is being currently "hacked". I am optimistic that substitution of different metals, ligands, catalysts or other chemically logical strategies will prove that photosynthesis can become a major energy resource, especially as we improve our technologies & reduce our true energy needs.

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