Teesdale eco-engineer Martin Bacon's Coffee Car sets world speed record

The Northern Echo: RECORD BREAKER: Eco-engineer Martin Bacon sets the speed record in his Coffee Car. RECORD BREAKER: Eco-engineer Martin Bacon sets the speed record in his Coffee Car.

A North-East inventor driving a car powered by waste generated from coffee production has raced into Guinness Book of Records after clocking up an average speed of more than 65mph.

Eco-engineer Martin Bacon, 42, set the record in his Coffee Car – a specially modified 1989 Ford P100 pick-up – watched by his wife Jill at Woodford Airfield in Stockport, Greater Manchester.

Mr Bacon, who runs Teesdale Conservation Volunteers (Rotters), in Barnard Castle, reached 65.5mph, a world best for this type of vehicle.

The vehicle uses coffee chaff pellets - the waste from coffee production - which are heated in a charcoal fire where they break down into carbon monoxide and hydrogen.

The gas is cooled and filtered before hydrogen is combusted to drive the engine.

Mr Bacon said: “We’re thrilled to have taken the speed record for the fastest car of this kind.

“We got up to 69mph one way and about 63mph the other, so it did okay. This is an old model.

“We put a new 1600 engine in but even with petrol, the top speed would have been about 85mph.”

The car was commissioned by The Co-Operative to mark the 10th anniversary of the company converting all its coffee to Fairtrade.

“They asked us just before Christmas if we could do and gave us a February deadline, so I designed it over Christmas – including Christmas Day – and as soon as we got back to work we got started with it,” said Mr Bacon.

“We have spent the last eight weeks working on it. We got it finished last week and just had time to do some tests. It's been fantastic.”

Mr Bacon explained that the car could run about 40 miles per 10kg of coffee chaff pellets. This works out at about £2 per 40 miles.

To mark Fairtrade Fortnight from February 25-March 10, the Coffee Car will tour 37 Co-operative food stores with Mr Bacon on hand to explain the workings of the car to school children and science fans nationwide.

Covering between 1,600 and 2,000 miles, Mr Bacon hopes to earn another place in the Guinness Book of Records – for the longest distance travelled on coffee power, a record he currently holds when an earlier version of the coffee car travelled 201 miles in 2010.

Mr Bacon added: “Any car can run on gasification. In fact, during the Second World War, there were over 100,000 vehicles in the UK that ran on gasification, including cars, buses and delivery vehicles.”

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