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Pellet-powered car sets records

A car that runs on wood pellets alone has achieved a world speed record at the World of Speed 2010 competition held at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, US after reaching 48mph.

Speaking about the competition the owner of the 1989 Mercury Cougar XR7 Robert ‘Chip’ Beam said: ‘There’s no category for a wood-powered car. This year we set the record. Next year we’re hoping to break the record.’

Most of Beam’s wood pellets come from waste timber collected at furniture-crafting workshops and he claims to have driven 120 miles from Alfred, New York to Williamsport for just under $20 (€14.30) in wood fuel costs.

With a mileage of around one mile to a pound of wood pellets, Beam explains that a 2,000lb bag of pellets would cost in the region of $200 to $300, however goes on to say that costs would be further reduced if people made their own pellets with a $1,300 pelletiser.

The automobile is registered, insured and licensed to drive on streets and main roads.