Chicken Manure Fuel Can Power Your Car

Chicken farmer Harold Bate discovered an eco-friendly way to power his car using decomposing chicken and pig manure as low-cost methane gas car fuel.

| July/August 1971

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    LEFT:Harold Bates pilot Manure Extractor and the Manure Digester that he uses for day-to-day generation of automobile and truck fuel. Note the high-pressure compressor with which Bate fills a storage bottle (lower left of photo) to a pressure of 1100 pounds per square inch. RIGHT: From this cluttered home workshop, Harold Bate challenged the multi-billon dollar petroleum industry and won!
    Photo by Barry Grindrod
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    Who needs a tiger in their tank? Harold Bate, chicken farmer and inventor from Devonshire, England says that you can power your motor vehicles with droppings from chickens, pigs or any other animal of your choice . . . even with your own waste! To prove his statement is no idle boast, Harold has been operating a 1953 Hillman and a, five-ton truck on methane gas generated by decomposing pig and chicken manure for years. He claims that the equivalent of a gallon of high-test gasoline costs him only about 3¢ and that the low-cost methane makes his vehicles run faster, cleaner and better than they operate on "store bought" fuel. Mr. Bate stands beside his famous Hillman in the photo above.
    Photo by Barry Grindrod
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    LEFT: Harold Bate holds pressure tank of home-made methane. RIGHT: Graphic proof that Harold's small pilot Manure Extractor does the job! Methane from the digester first bubbles into a gallon bottle of water and then passes to a small gas jet where it is easily ignited and supports a flame. Obviously, part of the methane generated by a large digester can be piped to a burner under the extractor for use in maintaining the tank at the optimum gas generating temperature.
    Photo by Barry Grindrod
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    LEFT: Nothing fancy here! Harold has simply  "hay wired" the methane gas cylinder valve to the steering wheel of his Hillman. RIGHT: The Bate Auto Gas Converter (demand regulator) as mounted in Harold's 1953 Hillman. The white cover here is purely decoration. Note, again, the rather casual manner in which Bate has installed his accessories in his own car.
    Photo by Barry Grindrod
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    RIGHT: We find, secured by another twist of wire, the pressure tank of methane which fuels the Bate Hillman. In this case, the tank is a recycled ""camping gas"" bottle of a type common in England. LEFT: The patented Bate Auto Gas Converter with all frills removed. This important piece of hardware and instructions for setting up your own methane plant is what you receive when you buy a converter from Bate. BELOW LEFT: There are days when being a world-famous chicken farmer-inventor is a royal drag.
    Photo by Barry Grindrod

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Harold Bate was born in 1908 in the city of Stoke in England's industrial midlands. He left school at the age of 14 to work as an apprentice mechanic with the Potteries Traction Company. Here he learned many basic engineering skills working on the old streetcars before becoming a maintenance engineer with the Stafford Coal and Iron Company. While with Stafford, Bate spent his spare time developing Submarine escape devices and advanced independent suspension systems for automobiles.  

In 1937, Harold Bate lost a leg in a driving accident. This would have been the beginning of an insurmountable infirmity for many people...but not for Harold. Ten years later..with wife, young daughter and cane--he set out for the grandest adventure of all: a driving tour of Africa.  

 "We traveled in an old ex-Army jeep," says Bate, "and, in eight years, drove 380,000 miles. It was hard, it was hot and at times it was dangerous...but we wouldn't have missed it for the world. We loved every minute. Our daughter learnt more out there than she ever would have in school."  

 While in Africa, Bate prospected for gold and uranium in Rhodesia and Tanganyika (now Tanzania) and--on more than one occasion--the family was attacked by bandits and had to fight for their lives. For one long stretch, they lived off what wild game they could hunt in mile after mile of mango swamps (well stocked with poisonous snakes) through which they passed.  



 But there were good times too. The Bates were treated like Royalty when they visited the Sheiks of the North African deserts, for instance, and the family was also well looked after by head hunters in another primitive area. As the remarkable and durable Mr. Bate says, "It was one hell of an adventure."  

 On his return to England in 1955, Harold worked as an electrical contractor, started a ferry boat service and drove a taxi before turning his attention to unleashing the power hidden in manure.  

Michael_82
2/15/2010 9:45:28 PM

Human waste might not be nearly as productive as the Chicken/Pig/Hay combination. And I would not be surprised to find that there would be a propane mixer that could be adjustable enough to make it work.


Michael_82
2/15/2010 9:45:24 PM

Human waste might not be nearly as productive as the Chicken/Pig/Hay combination. And I would not be surprised to find that there would be a propane mixer that could be adjustable enough to make it work.


desertmike7
1/4/2008 5:43:51 PM

yes, and so where do I get the diaphram for car..and can you use human human waste? How do you get the methane gas concentrated and pressurized? mike







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