Wood Powered Pickup Truck

HardOCP News

[H] News
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Would you drive a wood powered vehicle? This truck can only drive one mile per pound of wood burned so start clear-cutting the back forty of you want to convert to wood.

The truck is capable of driving one mile on a pound of wood, or about 5,000 miles on a cord of wood. Inventor Keith has already driven 15,000 miles in the vehicle, including a trek from Alabama to California and back in 2008. He's currently working on a new prototype of the vehicle. "I am not positive wood is the answer, but gasoline sure isn't," Reiche wrote.
 

HardOCP News

[H] News
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If I used wood in my car you’d see trees disappearing so fast you’d think you lived in the Amazon Rainforest.
 

GJSNeptune

[H]F Junkie
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Mar 31, 2004
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It's novel, but we should be focusing on global solutions.

Then again, if you invent an engine that runs on water, the oil companies will murder you and steal your concepts. :p :(
 

oROEchimaru

Supreme [H]ardness
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well there are more ways to make it efficient.

:)

plus if you reused land to grow treees... it might encourage people to protect them more. nah its america we'd tear them all down then invade canada for not letting us have their trees. then blame it on abortion
 

Virtus

Limp Gawd
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Dec 27, 2005
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Mileage would probably improve if they weren't hauling hundreds of pounds of wood.

Regardless, it is good to see people try things out. Didn't it take Edison over a thousand tries to get the light bulb right?
 

oROEchimaru

Supreme [H]ardness
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alot of his inventions were stolen, or spied on first so he could "invent them" it was great.
 
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And in other news, Saudi Arabia has begun a "beautification campaign" by planting the worlds largest man-made pine forest in the middle of the desert....
 

Enduring_Warrior

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And in other news, Saudi Arabia has begun a "beautification campaign" by planting the worlds largest man-made pine forest in the middle of the desert....

Now isn't that Irony!!!

Hey, what do you think of the next in line?
They already figured out how to keep Political Totalitarism and give up Economical Totalitarism. Do you think they can do the same with energy?
 

jctazzy

Limp Gawd
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Nov 22, 2008
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150
Call AAA for roadside wood delivery.... HAHAHHahahHAHAHA

Seriously, try that in North Central Texas where most of the trees are smaller than people. Then again, a truck that ran on smoldering mesquite would smell AWESOME! Rack a grill up on top of the reactor and smoke some brisket while running errands around town.
 

soulman901

Gawd
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Mar 26, 2004
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Ok really folks. As fun as this project might sound, this technology is horrifying to the Ents.
 

brian770

Limp Gawd
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Feb 5, 2006
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trees are renewable, gas isnt. sounds like he's he's going exactly in the right direction.
 

wtiger

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If it works with wood couldn't you make it to run on most any biosolid with the proper moisture content? Heck tones of people use say wood pellets made from waste wood to heat their homes. I'm not saying it's all that practical, but I bet they could pull some higher efficiencies out of it. Definitely pretty neat in any case.
 

Ockie

*** Self Proclaimed Storage King ***
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If I used wood in my car you’d see trees disappearing so fast you’d think you lived in the Amazon Rainforest.

Same here Steve, us and Kyle would probably eliminate all the tress.... the 6.5L sure is hungry ;)

Rev this thing next to a Prius and grin knowing you just took out two trees. :D
 

Riftsaw

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If it works with wood couldn't you make it to run on most any biosolid with the proper moisture content? Heck tones of people use say wood pellets made from waste wood to heat their homes. I'm not saying it's all that practical, but I bet they could pull some higher efficiencies out of it. Definitely pretty neat in any case.

That definately sounds like a plan.
 

Jakalwarrior

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they said its low on power because the fuel isn't very potent. They should counter that with a turbo or very high compression (depinding on the octane rating). I would guess they cant diesel it though since it comes from the oven as fumes I'm guessing.
 

velusip

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Wouldn't you be better off using the wood to heat a steam engine? XD

People are way too distracted by a hundred years of internal combustion engines.

Hybrid steam... you know it's coming! Cappuccino on wheels!
 

spacetrader

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Wouldn't you be better off using the wood to heat a steam engine? XD

People are way too distracted by a hundred years of internal combustion engines.

Hybrid steam... you know it's coming! Cappuccino on wheels!

no. that makes the process of wood to mechanical even more inefficient.

the government didn't think this was a crazy idea back in the WWII days. in reality, FEMA has had documentation and plans available to the public for nearly 100 years on this process. it was a fail-safe plan in case our oil supplies were cut.

what wood-gas IS good for, is home-power generation. you can run any regular generator on wood-gas, so if you live in the country with a lot of wood you can really save on your power bill if you have a bank of batteries to use.
 

Apathy

Gawd
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well 1lb of wood takes less time to make than 1 gallon of gas, so it's not completely backwards... admittedly the efficiency isn't too great, but for a two man project, that's pretty good.

i thought it took years and years for a tree to grow just a couple of feet from when it was first planted?

it cant possibly take less time to "make" a gallon of gas than it takes to "make" a single pound of wood.

can it?
 

dagas

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I'm not sure, but I bet this isn't anymore friendly to the environment or our lungs. Smoke is dangerous after all, if every car in LA burned wood it would be like living right next to a forest fire. It could be a short term solution, but in the long term I prefer a fuel that's not toxic, the air in the major cities is bad enough as it is.
 

normalicy

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i thought it took years and years for a tree to grow just a couple of feet from when it was first planted?

it cant possibly take less time to "make" a gallon of gas than it takes to "make" a single pound of wood.

can it?

Well, it takes millions of years for oil to develop from organic waste vs. 5-10 years to get a big ole pine tree. Do the math.

This is actually a very old concept (like since the 1700s). The NAZIs were really the first to fully impliment it because they didn't have any oil resources (that's why they were in Africa, they were going for the Middle East), but they did have abundant coal & tree resources. So they used a process called gassification.
 

lalapb

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Well, it takes millions of years for oil to develop from organic waste vs. 5-10 years to get a big ole pine tree. Do the math.

This is actually a very old concept (like since the 1700s). The NAZIs were really the first to fully impliment it because they didn't have any oil resources (that's why they were in Africa, they were going for the Middle East), but they did have abundant coal & tree resources. So they used a process called gassification.

There were not nearly as many cars on the planet in the 30s and 40s than there are today. The planet would never be able to keep up with the demand of cars there are today, let alone in the future.
 

ir0nw0lf

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So should I freak out if he drives up, rolls down his window and asks, "Hey man, got wood?"
 

ir0nw0lf

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There were not nearly as many cars on the planet in the 30s and 40s than there are today. The planet would never be able to keep up with the demand of cars there are today, let alone in the future.

Damn lack of edit. Meant to add, how about bamboo? It grows incredibly fast and furious, wouldn't it possibly make a good resource?
 

molochi

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This is one of those things that works well if you need to power a generator off the grid way out in the boonies. It was repopularized in the 40's for autos because of petroleum rationing. My brother's father in law had a hand built, woodgas fueled, V8 powered saw mill on his farm that was an amazing contraption. If you search the web you can find public domain books in pdf form that go into great detail on gassification and the different methods of harnesing it circa 1920-1940.

It's only really viable on a smallish scale though. It's better than wood fired steam power but that's not saying much. They used to use this technique for "town gas" before petroleum based gasses became commonly available though I think that was based on coal. If you read about gassified coal, this is the sort of thing their talking about.
 

Ockie

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There were not nearly as many cars on the planet in the 30s and 40s than there are today. The planet would never be able to keep up with the demand of cars there are today, let alone in the future.

There is enough coal to last generations upon generations with the proper conversion done. I don't remember the last numbers, but it was into the hundreds of years... and that was only in the US reserves alone.
 

normalicy

Limp Gawd
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There is enough coal to last generations upon generations with the proper conversion done. I don't remember the last numbers, but it was into the hundreds of years... and that was only in the US reserves alone.

Most estimates are about 2000-2500 years at the rate we're going.
 

lalapb

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There is enough coal to last generations upon generations with the proper conversion done. I don't remember the last numbers, but it was into the hundreds of years... and that was only in the US reserves alone.

I should have specified that I was talking about wood.
 

normalicy

Limp Gawd
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I should have specified that I was talking about wood.

Wood works too. It's actually one of the best renewable resources out there. It's typical practice to plant a new tree every time one is cut, so it's only 15-30 years for completely new resources, however, it would actually be a completely cycling resource once things were completely set up.

Damn lack of edit. Meant to add, how about bamboo? It grows incredibly fast and furious, wouldn't it possibly make a good resource?

That is a good idea. There are other trees that have similar growth traits. I wonder if they provide similar fuel as hard woods.
 
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