Cheese car goes off at world record pace
A CAR using fuel made from cheese waste has set a landspeed record in the US.
Built by Utah State University students, the Aggie A-Salt Streamliner runs on a biofuel they produced by combining the cheesemaking waste with yeast, and processing the result into a biodiesel.
The student team entered the car at the World of Speed held on Bonneville Salt Flats and set a land speed record of 64.4mph (103km/h) — for the diesel 1.0-litre two-cylinder vehicle class.
It is the first time the class record has been broken by a car fuelled entirely by biodiesel, rather than mixed with normal diesel.
It is probably also the first time the famed Bonneville speed-bid mecca has seen a dairy-derived entrant among the highly specialised vehicles that roll up to joust the clock.
Biochemistry Professor Lance Seefeldt told the university’s student newspaper, The Statesman, that the car attracted non-stop attention on the salt flats.
‘‘Our car had a constant crowd around it,’’ he said.
‘‘I didn’t see any other car that had.’’
The cheese-derived fuel was one of three the student group developed in Prof Seefeldt’s lab, the other two being based on bacteria and algae the latter planned to be used in next year’s Bonneville event. ‘‘Our goal right now is just to go faster,’’ Prof Seefeldt said. ‘‘We want to push the envelope and break 100mph (160km/h).’’
However, he said while the team built the car on a shoestring, they had a strong focus on developing the project into a biofuel with commercial potential, to help reduce the US dependence on foreign oil.
‘‘We discovered the fuel behaved beautifully,’’ Prof Seefeldt said. ‘‘There really are superior fuels that are as good as fuel that you would get at the pump.
‘‘The emissions are so much cleaner than regular diesel fuel,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s just really impressive.’’
The cheese-powered car that set a land-speed record