October 16, 2009 weblog
Cars that Run on Cow Power?
(PhysOrg.com) -- Race cars have long provided a testing ground for driving technology that we eventually see in passenger cars on the road. To this end, an engineering team in Lancashire, England, is hoping to give cow power a place in mass-produced consumer automobiles by creating a race car that runs on cow manure. Yep, there are hopes that by processing cow waste and using it to fuel cars, it can reduce the impact of two things that contribute to global warming.
The process, which has been gaining attention worldwide, uses fermented cow poop and anaerobic digesters to provide natural gas fuel. Rally racing is an intense form of motorsports that pushes car on-and-off road, and racers quickly figure out what does or doesn't work. Oacktec has already developed hybrid-electric motors for Honda, so they plan on using a Honda Civic Hybrid to compete within a year.
In the end, there are hopes that using hybrids on the race track could provide an advantage. Electric motors offer lots of torque that could send cars out of corners faster, providing an advantage of seconds -- which are precious to race car drivers. Using a hybrid car that runs partially on cow manure may provide an interesting alternative to current gasoline-electric hybrids. But we'll first have to see how cow power performs on the racetrack.
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