Monday, June 09, 2008

First you get some chickens

From Mother Earth News 1971:
Harold Bate, British farmer, thought running his car on chicken manure would be a logical way to beat the high tax on his native England's gasoline prices. And it is. But his countrymen's traditional tolerance of eccentrics has been, in Harold's case, unfortunate. While sympathetic ears and even radio and television time were accorded him in Great Britain's time honored fashion, no attention whatever was paid to the scheme itself.

So it was that Harold Bate and his chicken-powered 1953 Hillman, even at 75 m.p.h., travelled the land virtually unnoticed and — after two or three years of this — a despondent Harold journeyed to Canada and explained his invention to television audiences there.

Mr. Bate produces methane gas by simply sealing four or five gallons of chicken manure in a drum and heating it to a constant 80 degrees with a small oil lamp. The gas is collected in bottles or plastic balloons through an exit valve and stored for use. Bate also heats his farm buildings and runs a five ton truck on the gas. He claims that both car and truck run faster, cleaner and better on the methane which is sucked into the engine by the cylinders and ignited in the usual way.
A gallon of diesel now costs $11 in Great Britain. Especially tough on British truckdrivers. But the Brits don't have our sense of entitlement about driving a Ford Expedition EL on a 100 mile roundtrip daily commute.

When I was first married, we were given a dozen Rhode Island Red baby chickens as a wedding gift from our friends, "England Dan and John Ford Colley" (Dan Seals and John Colley), who performed at the wedding as well. We made methane gas from their poop, and built a geodesic dome coop for the birds. It was during the early 1970's and I was in my hippie phase! We never really used the gas for anything, it was just an experiment to see if we could actually make it!
Post a Comment

<< Home
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?