Dutch artist’s DIY motorcycle runs on swamp gas he collects himself

The Slootmotor’s fuel tank is a condom full of methane

Dutch artist, designer, independent designer and bike lover Gijs Schalkx has a strange means of getting around. His bike plainly has some do it yourself elements on it, like the timber added onto the frame, a little container of fluid on the handlebars as well as a balloon housed in a big clear cylinder standing high behind the seat. That balloon– really a condom– is the bike’s fuel container. You see, the Slootmotor, as his motorbike is called, works on methane that Schalkx meticulously collects from swamps. Yes, it works on swamp gas.

Methane is horrible for the environment. It’s a powerful greenhouse gas, with 100-year global warming potential 28 to 34 times that of carbon dioxide. It’s often released from the extraction as well as production of other nonrenewable fuel sources. It’s a byproduct of the farming sector, also– animals generate methane in their gastrointestinal procedure (according to UC Davis, a single cow can belch 220 pounds of methane in a year). It is likewise generated in land fills and rice paddies, and also as a byproduct of biomass burning. Methane can also take place as well as find its way right into the environment naturally, without the participation of human beings, in the decaying of raw material.

A great deal of raw material decays at the bottom of bogs, which is where Schalkx obtains the fuel for his Slootmotor (sloot suggests “ditch” in Dutch). He wades in as well as rakes the filth at the bottom, launching bubbles of gas, which he traps in a pail floating upside-down on the surface of the water. He then pumps it by hand right into his prophylactic fuel tank, and also uses that to run the bike’s 49cc four-stroke electric motor. That little jar of fluid attached to the handlebars is fuel he makes use of to get the engine began when it’s chilly. Aside from that, it’s all swamp gas.

Schalkx calls his Slootmotor the greenest lorry on earth, because it burns methane that would certainly otherwise have actually aired vent normally into the environment. The by-product of shedding it is CO2, which, as we noted previously, has far less worldwide heating potential than the same quantity of methane, which is why you’ll commonly see methane flaring at oil and gas operations and also at land fills. As well as, unlike those flare stacks, the Slootmotor is in fact putting that combustion to function.

It’s not the most labor-efficient way to fuel his bike. Schalkx tells Motherboard in the video above that it takes about eight hours to gather sufficient gas to push the bike for 20 kilometers (12.4 miles). Probably as crucial as having a cleaner kind of transportation is that the task responded to a simple inquiry for Schalkx: Is it possible? That response, clearly, is of course, and he states the initial 500 meters he rode using the methane he harvested were the best 500 meters of his life.

“I think the largest inspiration was this idea that whenever I put [gasoline] in the container of my motorcycle, I am sponsoring, claim, large companies, their greenwashing campaigns, and also I truly intended to come to be independent,” he told Motherboard. He likes the concept that he can discover his own gas, and that the added initiative entailed only offers to make the benefit sweeter.