Oil reserves are becoming depleted worldwide, which is why the scientists are busy trying to figure out what could be used as a fuel replacement one day. Unipetrol Centre for Research and Education introduced second-generation biofuel made from waste biomass. Cars running on fuel made from wood chips, but also sawdust, straw or algae were racing through Prague.
If you're already picturing yourself picking up leaves and logs around your cottage and stuffing them into the tank, you can forget about it. That would be way too easy. However, if you're interested to find out how all this can actually work, Jiří Hájek, Director of Development and Innovation at the Unipetrol Centre for Research and Education, describes the process of obtaining fuel from wood.
"It's a complicated chemical process. In any case, it will be possible to mix this fuel with diesel. And it's not that you'd have to buy a new car for that, not at all."
Makes sense, because when driving on wood, you don't really get a particularly different experience. You're simply driving. The only oddity is that you smell wood rather than oil.
In addition being mixed into diesel, second generation biofuels can actually fully replace it in diesel engines. Unlike the currently used biofuels, there is no risk of engine damage. To fill one average tank with biofuel, up to a cubic meter of wood chips is needed.
"That means roughly four barrels of wood chips, wood waste," explained Hájek.
By mixing this fuel with classic diesel, you won't have to worry about running out of gas somewhere on the road. The ratios will depend purely on the user, or rather on those responsible for puting this type of fuel into free tax circulation.
A luxury everyone can afford
The price is expected to be EUR 0.8 per liter, but the real value will depend on real operating costs and raw material prices. At the moment, they are still low. The new type of fuel should be put up for regular sale sometime in the second half of the next decade, i.e. in 2027.