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Algae Powered Motorcycles – Because Why Not?
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Algae Powered Motorcycles – Because Why Not?

Did you ever think about using any other substance than petrol to power your bike? If not, some people did, and they were even able to run their bike successfully. A number of motorcycling enthusiasts are experimenting with the use of the green "fuel" to power their bikes, and they could even create several historical records. The numbers are not as impressive as those of the petrol-powered vehicles, but the "green" fuel represents a possible topic of the further research.

What is Algae?

Algae oil and its use is currently the topic of researchers. The experts consider it to become the future alternative to the traditional petrol and other fuels. The green plant grows in water and is also able to survive in the alkaline environment of the seas. Besides that, the plant can grow in a non-arable land. It is thus possible to cultivate it in areas without any other agricultural use. The current development of the algae oil usable to power vehicles is in the early stage, so the price of the oil is about three times higher than that of the traditional petroleum.

Wooden Algae-Powered Motorcycle

However, the whole mystery of the algae oil attracts various people who want to construct and try their own devices using the fuel. As a part of the research, two young men from Netherland built their wooden bike and engine that runs on the green oil. They also grew their plant in the context of the process and extracted the necessary fuel from it.

The motorcycle was built as a part of a study of the possible use of algae as a fuel. The men tried the single-sided bike of wooden chassis on the beach, and the test was successful. The scientists used the data gained from the test in their monograph which is dealing with the possible use and benefit of the algae oil for the future engine development.

Algae-Powered Engine Speed Record

The Dutch experiment isn't, however, the only one in the history. The first official algae-fueled motorcycle was constructed by the research team associated with the University of San Diego. The Below Surface´s "Driving Innovation" Team is also signed under the first official speed record algae-fueled bike. Kristian Gustavson was riding his vehicle 94.6 mph at The Texas Mile speed event on 24th March 2012.

The bike used by the team used a 50/50 blend of algae oil and cooking oil waste from the university. The experiment continued, and Devin Chatterjie was able to go as fast as 96.2 mph on 100% algae oil.

The bike used by the Driving Innovation team is of Dutch origin and makes use of an 800cc diesel powered Track Motorcycle. The vehicle was shipped to the USA at the end of 2016 as the American researchers were interested in the project. The top speeds reached during their tests were 94.6, 95.1, 95.2, 95.6 and 96.2 mph. The numbers represent the highest and also the only currently known speed reached by the algae-powered bike. But the team is aiming to develop their bike further and overcome its limits. They have planned their next speed trial for the May 2017 in California. 

Image credit: Designboom.com

More about record, biofuel, eco, algae, fuel, power, engine

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