Saturday, June 27, 2009

My Favorite Alternative Energy

I came across this article today ...

Man Modifies Pick-up to Run on Wood ...

KILLINGLY, Conn. -- From the first time he saw Emmett "Doc" Brown fire up the Mr. Fusion home energy reactor in the "Back to the Future" movies, Dave Nichols has always wanted to make a vehicle run on garbage.

Two decades after the trilogy, the 42-year-old home builder and auto shop owner from eastern Connecticut isn't traveling through time in a DeLorean, yet. But he's modified his 1989 Ford F150 pickup truck to run on wood, leaves, cardboard and other "biomass" with a fuel system that he says expels virtually no pollution. Read more ...

You can also visit his Mr. Nichols' website here.

While I disagree with Mr. Nichols' assertion that biomass gassification is the panacea to our country's energy problems, I do believe that in some parts of the country, it is the best answer for heating and providing electricity - on a small scale. And don't get me wrong - I think large-scale anything has met its end, and that we should be prepared to live a lot more locally - including from whence our power comes.

I don't think biomass gassification is the answer in, say, Texas or New Mexico. I don't think there is one answer that will fit every location. For the southwest, I think solar power or wind power would be a better choice. But here in the heavily forested northeast, biomass gassification is one thing we should be exploring more.

** To Anna M. The snake is an Eastern garter snake. He's lived around our house for a number of years, and over the years, we've seen him eating a toad and shedding his skin. I still have the skin :). We don't see him often, but every now and then, we startle him ... and he promptly returns the favor :) - and if Deus Ex Machina is outside when it happens, the snake is caught ... for just a couple of minutes so that we can say hi, and then he's released.


  1. Cool! I haven't seen any snakes around here yet but I do like them. I have created a few toad holes and we have lots of them. Maybe the snakes will follow.

  2. Thing is, if we get enough of these Dave Nichols' thinking outside of the box--our energy problems are sure to fall by the wayside! The trick will be NOT to compare these guys to Hollywood stereotypes of kooky mad scientists. That's my beef with that article.