With the one-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, it seems much more important to explore alternatives to oil if we want to avoid a spill like that happening again. A Finnish politician has taken a step in that direction.
Juhas Sipilä has modified his American-built 1987 El Camino to run on renewable wood instead of unrenewable and messy oil. When was the last time you heard of an ecosystem being decimated by a wood spill?
The El Camino, dubbed “El Kamina,” has been retrofitted with a woodgas generator. The generator runs for about 125 miles of 175 pounds of wood. The burning wood in turn produces a gas that can power a standard internal combustion engine with few modifications. Woodgas generator cars were fairly common in World War II when oil supplies were being used for the war effort.
The setup is obviously bulky, not factoring in all the wood you need to power the truck. But it’s still a very cool prototype and in a world where politicians seem to treat alternative energy as they do weather, always talking about it and doing nothing about it, it’s refreshing to see Sipilä actually creating something that shows the potential of biofuel.