Give me the good oil
FOUR guys, one ute, 30 countries, 40,000km and no service stations.
That’s the target for four young environmentally conscious Australians preparing to set off on ‘‘The Green Way Up’’ adventure next March.
They plan to drive a diesel-powered dual-cab ute from the southern tip of Tasmania to Nordkapp, the most northern point of mainland Europe, without stopping for fuel.
Instead, they will use their own inventions that turn used vegetable oil into biodiesel.
Group spokesman Oscar Peppitt says it all started a year ago with an idea from his friend, engineer Bob Miles.
‘‘Bob is a revhead and he came to me with an idea that we should quit our jobs and travel around the world,’’ he said.
‘‘I told him I’m too old for that unless it’s for a business or a cause and he said, ‘How about both’?’’
Peppitt said they both have an environmental conscience, so they decided to do a trip running on biodiesel made from used cooking oils.
‘‘We’re building a couple of converters from scratch and using a HiLux at the moment, but we’re looking for a suitable vehicle; maybe the VW Amarok as its t he new kid on t he block,’’ Peppitt said.
‘‘We’re building a couple of protoypes and well probably take both.
‘‘One is a batch converter which is easy to make but the problem is you need to sit still for eight hours because the filtration system relies on settlement.
‘‘We’re also looking at a centrifuge which is quicker or maybe a convertor which uses the engine to force the oil to settle under pressure.
‘‘Then we can process the fuel on the fly.’’
Peppitt said they have tested on the road with the batch processor.
‘‘We went to Chinatown in Sydney and a couple of other places to blind test whether we could get used oil,’’ he said.
‘‘One day we found about 100 litres i n Chinatown which would be enough to get you a fair way because it converts to about 80 per cent biodiesel which is 80 litres of biodiesel.’’
He said the converters cost ‘‘a couple of thousand dollars each’’.
The other members of the team are welder Chuck Anderson and DJ Justin Hancock and all are from the Sydney region.
The Green Way Up is also working with Hollywood actor Ewan McGregor’s producer from the Long Way Round TV series, Jo Melling, to document the adventure.
For more information on this exciting adventure visit www.thegreenwayup.com