New York Man Embarks on 320-Mile Journey in Wood-Powered Pickup

A man, his gasifier, and his truck
A man, his gasifier, and his truck

A New York state man is taking his wood-powered pickup truck on a road trip to generate funding for research into wood gasification (bet you never heard of that!). Rick Bates, a grad student at the State University College of Environmental Science and Forestry, will use 400 pounds of wood -- along with about a gallon of gas, to best start up his 1969 GMC truck -- to travel 320 miles through central and northern New York today. He uses wood he finds lying around his house, all the better for his carbon footprint.

Cars have run on wood before -- during World War II, for example -- but since wood has about 30 percent less energy than gas (and you actually have to cut down trees or find enough fallen tree branches to make a vehicle move), petroleum tends to overshadow it in times of plenty. However, these experiments with wood-powered vehicles could lead to environmental solutions like garbage trucks that run on gasified trash, or maybe even bloggers that run on gasified blogs, which would be kind of amazing, meta, and smelly. [va the Post-Standard]


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