Power Your Vehicle With Chicken Manure Fuel

Learn how one British farmer uses chicken manure to power his own natural gas vehicle.
By Rod Chadwick
March/April 1971
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Chicken manure is one type of natural fuel alternative available to power vehicles.

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Harold Bate, a 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. Even the stamp of official approval that Bate received from the government's Ministry of Transport did little to advance his case; the English placing harmless eccentrics and politicians in much the same category.

So it was that Harold Bate and his chicken-powered 1953 Hillman, at 75 miles per hour, 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.

The conversion of a motor vehicle from gasoline to methane power is made by the installation of Bate's 6-inch by 5-inch patented carburetor attachment. An emergency or permanent switch back to gasoline can be made by the flick of a control from inside the vehicle, even while in motion. The device will also run an engine on other types of gas including Propane and natural gas. These fuels are not only inexpensive or plain free, but are also more efficient and better for a car's engine than gasoline. "No carbon deposit on your cylinders and no engine wear or poisonous carbon monoxide fumes," says Harold. With all these advantages, a purchased `Bate Convertor' ought to pay for itself within a reasonably short period of time.

Harold Bate does a little better now that a worldwide interest in the environment prevails and the gasoline-powered automobile is well known as a major polluter.

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