This Truck Runs on Wood Chips!


 Wood gas truck
Robert "Chip" Beam drives his wood-powered Isuzu Trooper in the Green Grand Prix in Watkins Glen, N.Y.
Photo by David Duprey/AP Wide World 

More than 25 years ago, MOTHER EARTH NEWS reported on how to run a truck with wood chips. The idea is still sawin’ after all these years. 

As reported yesterday in The New York Times, Robert “Chip” Beam of Williamsport, Pa., converted his 1988 Isuzu Trooper SUV to run on wood chips (see photo). The Trooper runs 20 miles on 25 pounds of wood chips, which Beam gets for free. Visit the Beaver Energy website to learn more about the Trooper.

Beam tells the Times that in the summer of 2005 he was inspired to figure out how to run cars on a fuel aside from gas. So he got to work, crafting his system from our articles and various other online resources. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like he found the conversion plans we offer. 

Like the original MOTHER EARTH NEWS woodburning truck, Beam’s system has a furnace that sits in the back of the vehicle. He can use just about any type of scrap wood, which is burned to produce carbon monoxide and hydrogen, which burns in the Trooper’s original engine without modifications. The Trooper can go up to about 45 miles per hour and emits a faint smell of charcoal barbeque. 

Beam says he’s now working to create “the fastest wood-powered car on the planet.” Specifically, he’s modifying a 1991 Mercury Cougar. I'm curious to hear how the system will fit in the trunk!

Chip Beam
7/10/2008 3:45:43 PM

Check out the home of chips trooper

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