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by Tim Beissmann

A small team of entrepreneurial engineers from the UK has set a Guinness World Record by breaking the land-speed record in a car powered by coffee.

Coffee Car Mk2 hit a top speed of 77.5mph (124.7km/h) and an average speed of 66.5mph (107.0km/h) on the return run to officially claim the world record for a vehicle run on gas from organic waste. The record was previously held by a US-based team in their wood-powered Beaver XR7, which managed 47.7mph (76.8km/h).

Coffee Car Mk2 is based on a Rover SD1 with a straight-six-cylinder engine. The team fitted it with a gasifier designed for maximum output of gas as they targeted the highest possible speed.

The gasification system burns coffee at temperatures above 700 degrees Celsius and produces a synthetic gas that comprises methane, hydrogen and carbon monoxide, which is capable of powering the car’s internal combustion engine.

The team explained some of the clean gas is also compressed to 150psi and injected directly into the manifold to achieve top speed.

The interior was completely stripped, removing about 250kg of dead weight from the cabin.

The cooling system comprises an intercooler with two 12-volt fans attached, and the car has a number of draining points for the collection of moisture.

If you’re wondering, Coffee Car Mk1 holds a Guinness World Record of its own, for the longest journey by a coffee-powered car. The converted Volkswagen Scirocco drove 337km from London to Manchester powered by coffee granules. The people at Guinness say the ‘Car-puccino’ achieved fuel consumption of one mile per 56 espressos.

The idea initially came about when BBC host and inventor Jem Stansfield noticed the large quantities of used coffee granules produced by coffee shops and went about designing a car that would run on waste products.




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