Andy Pag (34, from London), the eco-adventurer who drove a chocolate powered lorry to Timbuktu using waste cocoa butter and organised the Grease to Greece Rally where teams had to scavenge chip-fat to power their vehicles across Europe, is now setting off to drive around the world on an eco-expedition that can best be described as… rubbish! Pag has recycled a scrap yard school bus and turned it into a state of the art eco-home using a mix of reclaimed trash and cutting edge green technology. Not only is the 20 year old “Biotruck” made from rubbish, but it’s been modified so it can run on rubbish too, specifically used cooking oil thrown away by restaurants and caterers. “By 2050 the experts say we’ll each have to be emitting less than 2 tonnes of CO2 per year to avoid the worst effects of manmade climate change.” says Pag, “In the UK we currently emit around 10-13tonnes. I’m curious to see what people in other countries are doing about their footprint, and to see if it’s possible to travel around the world emitting less than 2 tonnes myself, by using energy-from-waste and other technology.” The first fill up comes from Uptown Oils in London who produce fuel from locally collected used cooing oil.
When full, the Biotruck has a range of around 5000miles (8000km), but Pag intends to keep the tank topped up during the 12 month journey from chip shops and burger bars along the route through Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia and the Americas, with the help of an on board Zuwa collection pump, Greenfuel tanks and an Oilybits filtering system. The expedition’s CO2 is being monitored by consultants Terra-Ambiente, and onboard the Biotruck, every effort has been made to avoid fossil fuels. Cooking is on a woodgas stove, washing is with water heated bythe sun, lighting is by ultra low energy LED bulbs from the Good Energy Shop, sleeping is on an Abaca organic mattress, and the call of nature is answered on a Separett waterless composting toilet. To get the most of every drop of fuel, Pag has fitted EcoVolt solar panels on the roof which power a Magdrive hydrogen generator, supplementing fuel with Hydrogen gas so that on sunny days the Biotruck will cover more miles per gallon.
Total Vehicle Technology have serviced the engine and installed a Clean Diesel Technology Particulate Filter which reduces the exhaust emissions to that of a vehicle 1/10th its age. “I’ve no idea how easy it will be to find used cooking oil in places like Iran, India or Brazil but it’s going to be fun finding out. Driving around the world is a massive challenge, and trying to do it using sustainable fuels, with a tight carbon budget makes this the toughest expedition I’ve ever attempted.” confessed Pag a former engineer and journalist who has been organising overland expeditions for 14 years. www.biotruckexpedition.org