June 30, 2008

chocolate as biofuel

A few weeks ago I finally managed to read my Spring edition of On Earth published by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).  A blurb titled "Godiva's Lastest Ride"written by Wendee Holtcamp caught my eye. She explains how in November 2007 two British guys, Andy Pag (award-winning investigative journalist, filmmaker and vehicle-based Africa traveller) and John Grimshaw (experienced desert traveller and truck/diesel mechanic) drove a Ford Cargo truck with recycled parts from Spain to Timbuktu, Mali. The amazing part is they using factory-discarded chocolate and recycled cooking oil to drive the 4500 miles to Mali.  

The BioTruck Drive to Timbuktu website details how the company Ecotec is using leftover chocolate that would end up in landfills to replace the ethanol traditionally sourced from petrochemicals.  Pag and Grimshaw hope their biotruck expedition will bring alternative biofuels back into the public eye in a postive light.  

Holtcamp's article states that "the highlight of their visit to Timbuktu, Pag says, was finding out about research being done locally on jatropha, a hardy pest- and drought-resistant plant that was recently singled out by Goldman Sachs as one of the world's most promising sources of biofuel". 

Now when I don't have a toddler hanging on my leg I plan to research jatropha and post my findings.  

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