Almost everyone is looking for ways to provide cleaner means of transportation without breaking the bank in the process. Renewable Energy Systems (RES) LLC has teamed up with Auburn University in an endeavor to show that such system are out there and often times are well with reach of many people.
Wayne Keith, a partner in RES, began his design with an average 1991 Dodge Dakota packing a 5.2 liter V8. He then developed a system that would allow the stock engine to run on gassified bio-material while still being able to run on regular fuel. His design can take almost any carbon based matter and turn it into syngas which is then forced into the engine and combusted.
Wood is the main source of fuel for the converted Dakota, but it can also run on switch-grass, crop residues and many other biomass sources that are readily available. For every pound of biomass that is burned, Mr. Keith can get around 1 mile on the road.
He also owns a V6 Dakota from 1987 that gets about 1.5 miles per pound. The V8 can hit 80mph when running flat out while the V6 can cruise along at 65mph.
To prove that this system can and hopefully will work, Mr. Keith and the rest of Renewable Energy Systems are working with Auburn University, located in Auburn Alabama, to make a cross country trip using the 2 wood-burning Dakota’s. They are planning on starting in Charleston, SC and driving to San Diego. From there they will go north through Los Angeles and San Francisco.
After they reach the west coast, the team will be participating in a 3 day race for non-commercially available fuels that starts in Berkeley, CA and ends in Las Vegas, NV. The final leg of the journey will take them back across the nation to the starting point on east coast.
They plan on stopping at as many renewable energy installations as they can find and in doing so they hope to bring some media attention onto such projects.