Give me the good oil

NT News - Motoring - - NEWS - By MARK HINCH­LIFFE

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

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