Forget petrol, how to make your car run on firewood @KenyanTraffic
A growing number of Ukrainian drivers are turning to wood to power their cars and save money on fuel.
With the automobile industry slowly going electric, using wood as fuel hardly seems like the most practical solution. But The technology is not exactly novel.
People have been creating wood-powered cars for decades. They were quite popular during World War I, but today, people have mostly built them as experiments, to prove that it can be done. Nowadays, more and more drivers in the Ukraine are fitting their old cars with wood burners and boilers to save money. Thirty-six-year-old Eugene Chernigov converted his old car into a wood-powered vehicle last year.
A teacher of physics and mathematics, Chernigov, learnt about using wood as fuel from the Internet and spent two months reading up on the topic and digging up literature on the subject dating back to 1939. He says building the system was a simple affair once he got a firm grip of the concept.
Chernigov attached a wood-burning stove and a metal canister to the back of his car, which connect to the engine of the car. The gas emitted from the wood combustion is stored into the metal canister, filtered, cooled and fed into the engine. His car consumes around 40 pounds of firewood per 100 kilometres, which costs him only Sh40. By comparison, a litre of petrol has an average cost of Sh90. Depending on the quality of the wood used and how dry it is, the car can reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour.
Believe it or not, Chernigov says that his old Opel is now not only cheaper to drive, but also more environment-friendly. Instead of polluting fumes, the exhaust now expels only water vapour and carbon dioxide.
Sergey Lagoon, from the Donbass region, designed his first wood-burning car a few years ago, and says that after his success many others followed in his footsteps. He first converted an old Lada and then moved on to a Volga. Because he fitted the alternative fuel system in the trunk of the car, Lagoon says he never once had trouble with the police.
Chernigov and Lagoon were covered by Ukrainian media, but it’s believed many other drivers have turned to wood to save money. Chernigov told local media that he knows at least six other people who made the switch. The Ukrainian government has, however, said it is illegal to use unregistered energy units to power cars.