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Race Car Made With Veggies And Powered By Chocolate

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the mad-lib-motors dept.

Transportation 83

IS4110 writes "A new racing car made with potatoes and carrots and powered with chocolate waste has been developed by the Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre of the University of Warwicks in the UK. The university's vehicle, called WorldFirst F3 project, has a steering wheel made of curran, a material derived from carrots, that is expected to replace glass fiber and carbon fiber. It also has a racing seat made of SoyFoam, a soybean oil-based, flexible foam material. Wing mirrors incorporate materials derived from potato starch, a bib made from flax fiber, and lubricants based on plant oils."

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Future headline (5, Funny)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692163)

Race called on account of rabbit attack.

Re:Future headline (1)

spydabyte (1032538) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692957)

I'm more worried about Women protesting on wasted chocolate.

You can buy a bib made of flax online! (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#27693405)

Something like this [etsy.com] .

Re:Future headline (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#27694011)

FTA: "The project's goal is to prove that is possible to make a competitive racing car using environmentally sustainable and renewable materials."

I'd say their goal is to make sure no race car driver goes hungry during his 500 laps.....

Curran not made entirely from carrots (yet) (5, Informative)

levell (538346) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692165)

At the moment the carrot-based material "curran" used to make the steering wheel contains some carbon fibre. Fly-fishing rods made out of the material [carrotmuseum.co.uk] are 50% carbon fibre at the moment.

The inventors are working to increase the percentage of carrot based material

Re:Curran not made entirely from carrots (yet) (4, Funny)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692261)

The inventors are working to increase the percentage of carrot based material

That's fine and all but I still think a meat based race car would prove to be far more impressive.

Re:Curran not made entirely from carrots (yet) (4, Funny)

ookabooka (731013) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692597)

That's fine and all but I still think a meat based race car would prove to be far more impressive.

It's called the Kentucky derby.

Re:Curran not made entirely from carrots (yet) (2, Insightful)

srussia (884021) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692637)

That's fine and all but I still think a meat based race car would prove to be far more impressive.

Formula 1 cars are made of and run on dinosaur residue.

Re:Curran not made entirely from carrots (yet) (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692673)

Meh...
Been done before. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Curran not made entirely from carrots (yet) (1, Redundant)

Adriax (746043) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692681)

You mean a horse?

Re:Curran not made entirely from carrots (yet) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27693091)

That's fine and all but I still think a meat based race car would prove to be far more impressive.

Sounds like fun if you're up for a race with competition that's anxious to beat your meat...

Re:Curran not made entirely from carrots (yet) (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27693321)

It's been done [coldfront.net] .

Re:Curran not made entirely from carrots (yet) (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 5 years ago | (#27695285)

That's fine and all but I still think a meat based race car would prove to be far more impressive.

The headline of one webpage says it can go 150mph [newslite.tv] .

Falcon

Re:Curran not made entirely from carrots (yet) (1)

DarkMage0707077 (1284674) | more than 5 years ago | (#27706335)

They have those. They're called "horses".

Re:Curran not made entirely from carrots (yet) (1)

DancesWithBlowTorch (809750) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692657)

The inventors are working to increase the percentage of carrot based material

And they better should. This sure sounds like green wash to me.

So the seat, mirrors and steering wheel are partly made from materials that contain chemicals that are derived from carrots. Seriously. Wake me when they can industrially produce carbon-neutral engines, gearboxes, wheels, impact zones and, most of all, catalysers (which currently contain a lot of poisonous and expensive materials).

Re:Curran not made entirely from carrots (yet) (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27693799)

Definitely a lot less impressive than those wood cars.

Re:Curran not made entirely from carrots (yet) (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 5 years ago | (#27695429)

So the seat, mirrors and steering wheel are partly made from materials that contain chemicals that are derived from carrots. Seriously. Wake me when they can industrially produce carbon-neutral engines, gearboxes, wheels, impact zones and, most of all, catalysers (which currently contain a lot of poisonous and expensive materials).

Back in the 1930s Henry Ford designed and built a car on his Iron Mountain estate that was something like this car. He didn't use carrots though, that I know of, instead he used hemp aka marijuana. Not only was the car made from hemp but it was also fueled with hemp. I'd imagine that like his engine this one may be carbon negative, plants may remove more carbon from the atmosphere than they emit.

Falcon

I wonder how much energy was necessary (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692993)

To create these materials ... And how many heavy metal catalysts (that are supposed to be recycled, but in practice cannot all be recovered from the reactor).

And obviously how much oil-based fertilizer was used in growing the stuff in the first place.

I wonder if this "green" car is as green as Al Gore.

Re:Curran not made entirely from carrots (yet) (1)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 5 years ago | (#27693027)

Another way to read that article is "we are using the standard carbon fiber and resin to make a fly fishing rod. As a marketing gimmick, we dry carrots, grind them up into fine cellulose fibers, and use those as filler".

Re:Curran not made entirely from carrots (yet) (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27693771)

> The inventors are working to increase the percentage of carrot based material

Why?

Isn't carbon sequestration all the rage today?

More carbon fiber please!

Re:Curran not made entirely from carrots (yet) (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27696943)

You can make carbon fibre out of burnt carrots.

All this work??? (1)

NickyGotz22 (1427691) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692181)

All that effort and those damn kids still wont like their veggies. Next year i wanna see an xbox360 made of Funions and then maybe we'll get a response.

Re:All this work??? (4, Funny)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692273)

So, like, my XBox Funion Edition(TM) red ringed, so I ate it. I can't get it repaired now, but it was delicious.

Re:All this work??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27692551)

I think you've been smoking a different vegetable...

Not because you thought to eat your XBox, but because you found Funions to be delicious.

Re:All this work??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27692563)

Kids don't like veggies because their parents usually present them with boiled frozen tasteless vegetables.

Growing up, my parents always prepared fresh vegetables in interesting ways, and I've always loved pretty much all vegetables. Of course, I still don't think a meal is a meal without meat, but it's not a meal without vegetables, either.

No! My pranks! (1)

Mendoksou (1480261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692197)

Will a potato in the tailpipe still work, or will it operate as an afterburner? At least priming the tube with your mouth to syphon gas will be more pleasant now :D

Interesting (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692199)

And it may be something that we may see in other cars too, but using items from nature in our cars isn't really new.

Up until the late 60's most material in our cars like seats and carpets were of material from nature. Coconut fibers were common, but that was replaced by foam material.

Of course - it's the combination of material that's new and taken to a new level.

Brings a new meaning... (2, Funny)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692231)

To playing with your food...

Which vegetable did the metal parts come from? (1)

thered2001 (1257950) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692243)

Spinach? Broccoli? Beets? You'd certainly need a lot of whatever to get that much iron...that doesn't sound very environmentally friendly.

Maybe they used ceramics instead? (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692733)

I've heard of some race cars having ceramic engines. Might be able to replace quite a few of the metal parts with ceramic materials? Although, I'm not sure that's really any better for the environment than metals.

Re:Maybe they used ceramics instead? (1)

triffid_98 (899609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27694033)

I've heard of some race cars having ceramic engines. Might be able to replace quite a few of the metal parts with ceramic materials? Although, I'm not sure that's really any better for the environment than metals.

Why do we even need to consider the ecological friendliness of car materials? I'm all for the environment, but it seems to me that what is most worthwhile is making things that last so any impact is amortized over time. As an added bonus, that means we'll still have something to drive after the robot apocalypse.

...on that note, steel is both shock resistant and repairable, ceramics are neither.

Re:Maybe they used ceramics instead? (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701319)

That's a good point - about the shock resistance and repairability. Plus, steel is recyclable fairly easily, so when cars get old, the metal can be melted and used to make new cars (or other goods). I don't think ceramics are easy to recycle?

As for why we need to consider the ecological friendliness of car materials? Simple. There's 6+ billion people on this planet. Now, only a part of those can afford to buy cars, and are of an age to drive (that is, teens or adults), but I think the figures I've heard approach something on the order of 1-2 Billion potential drivers (third world countries have been developing to the point where car driving is on the rise in many of them - I heard on NPR recently that the auto industry in China is booming because with the economic development in China over the last decade, there are now a lot more people who can afford cars than ever before).

What it comes down to is, even if cars last a long time, when you are talking about anything that is on the scale of at least hundreds of millions, if not billions, then you have to consider the ecological impact over the entire lifespan of those goods (in this case, cars) - from the impact of building and operating the factories that manufacture them, the impact of the production of materials for them, on-going operation and maintenance of the goods (things like oil/brake fluid/transmission fluid, etc leaks, tailpipe emissions, replacement of parts as they wear out - and the environmental impact of creating and transporting those replacement parts, and disposal of the old 'worn-out' parts [one thing I'm worried about with electric vehicles is the long term impact of the massive battery industry that electric vehicles require - what are the environmental costs of the manufacture and disposal of those batteries?]), and then the ultimate disposal/recycling of the good.

To be honest, I'm not sure that creating plastics and other materials from vegetable derivatives is necessarily much better than creating them from waste products from oil refining. We're refining the oil anyhow, for gas/petrol, so why not use the waste to make plastics? In any case, what is the impact both in terms of the environment, and on human hunger, of using food crops for producing materials for cars? Not sure I like that idea.

Re:Maybe they used ceramics instead? (1)

triffid_98 (899609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27703147)

I guess I've just seen way too many 10 year old cars sitting in wrecking yards...and I've seen the dirty side of the recycling industry. Sure we put them into these nice shiny bins, but a lot of it ends up on the slow boat to China where it gets 'recycled' as in burned for it's metal content, since there are basically no environmental laws over there.

Potatoes are not vegetables (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27692307)

Potatoes are not vegetables

Re:Potatoes are not vegetables (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 5 years ago | (#27693763)

They are certainly not animal or mineral. Or are they ....

I for one, welcome our animal potato overlords!

Linux users are bastards (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27692319)

Cue the East Germans! (2, Funny)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692341)

They just made a 200+ MPH Trabant!

Re:Cue the East Germans! (1)

CaptSlaq (1491233) | more than 5 years ago | (#27693115)

They just made a 200+ MPH Trabant!

The sheer insanity to even *think* of this idea is boggling. I like it. Make it happen.

Re:Cue the East Germans! (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27694411)

No problem all I need is a C-130.
I remember when Airwolf was on TV. A friend of mine asked me, "How can you make a helicopter fly as superspeeds?" My answer was, "take it apart and put it in a Concord".

Engine (1)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692369)

Ok the engine is not made by carrot or potatoes, or is it?

Veggies vs Wood? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27692449)

Given all the processing needed to manufacture the components from veggies, wouldn't it be easier to just make them from wood?

The goal? (1, Troll)

American Terrorist (1494195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692481)

TFA: The project's goal is to prove that is possible to make a competitive racing car using environmentally sustainable and renewable materials.

Competitive against what? Wind powered sail cars? They still haven't solved the basic problem that racing huge machines is wasteful no matter what you use to do it with. There is an opportunity cost to all those potatoes going uneaten.

Re:The goal? (2, Informative)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 5 years ago | (#27693121)

Actually TFA points out that they opted for carrots due to the supply of non-food grade carrots available to them. What I'm waiting on thought is for our genetic engineering capability to achieve the state of not re-purposing existing biologic materials, but rather custom designing organisms to produce (or be) materials or products.

Re:The goal? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27694919)

What I'm waiting on thought is for our genetic engineering capability to achieve the state of not re-purposing existing biologic materials, but rather custom designing organisms to produce (or be) materials or products.

In time, that could be a huge win. You could grow a spaceship hull melon, or a shovel tree. Today, with the problems people are having feeding themselves, it's an interesting research problem but not a good use of our natural resources. Right now projects like this (which make use of waste to replace the current materials with higher negative environmental impact) are precisely what is needed. In general we tend to make very poor use of natural resources; if we could all plant iPod trees we probably would, with little to no regard for what it would do to the soil.

As I've always said (3, Funny)

Dan Quayle (1539747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692495)

Nothing beats a potatoe.

Re:As I've always said (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 5 years ago | (#27698481)

1 Potato
2 Potatoes
3 ????
4 Profit !

Sorry, my grammar nazi tendencies are competing with my lame meme tendencies ... hence the resulting post.

When they crash... (1)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692507)

... would you smell vegetable stir-fry? In that case they should use soy sauce as coolant and peanut oil as engine lube.

Re:When they crash... (1)

jbezorg (1263978) | more than 5 years ago | (#27694345)

...if you're not to picky about the meat, it's a complete, well rounded and self-cooking meal.

Re:When they crash... (1)

adminstring (608310) | more than 5 years ago | (#27696653)

There would be a driver in there, you know...

Re:When they crash... (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 5 years ago | (#27696801)

That's what he meant about the meat...

Re:When they crash... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27697541)

Dear Sir, I am glad to hear that the /. audience disapproves of the last post as strongly as I. As a driver I abhor the implication that FIA is a haven for cannibalism. It is well known that we now have the problem relatively under control, and that it is NASCAR who now suffer the largest casualties in this area.

The real question is (1)

Dishwasha (125561) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692607)

how many fossil fuels did they burn making all the materials?

Re:The real question is (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692889)

mod dishwasha up. totally on target.

Re:The real question is (1)

CaptSlaq (1491233) | more than 5 years ago | (#27693227)

I disagree: I'd like to know if they can get F3 to modify the rules enough to get an Audi TDI style racing engine inside the thing and run it on biodiesel. Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audi_R10#Diesels_racing_at_Le_Mans [wikipedia.org]

Gimmicks (2)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 5 years ago | (#27692729)

What's the point of a project like this? I've seen plenty of stories in the form of "$TECHNOLOGICALLY_SOPHISTICATED_DEVICE made from $NATURAL_THING", and they're all useless gimmicks.

These guys used some natural materials to build a car. So fucking what? Either the natural materials require so much processing that they're practically "artificial" materials (like the Curran steering column), things we've known how to do for years (like building seats out of foam), or things that just destroy the utility of an object.

Furthermore, the production of these devices wouldn't be nearly as environmentally friendly if scaled up. How much fossil fuel would we expend growing the carrots for the steering columns, for example? I bet the carbon footprint wouldn't be much better than that of today's cars.

You want to help the environment? Work on real technology, not cheap dead-end gimmicks.

Doesn't this fall victim to the Ethanol Problem (1)

SunSpot505 (1356127) | more than 5 years ago | (#27693185)

World food prices drastically increased as corn was diverted to ethanol alt-fuel projects. It also led to increased rates of deforestation.

If we are building every basic fabrication material from organic matter, doesn't that lead to an exponentially worse version of the same situation? I mean, how many viable sources of curran are there? And soy oil and potatoes? It sounds like a shopping list at your local organic grocer, which is great if you have a huge food surplus, but last I checked there were still 1 billion malnourished people in the world.

I'd be much more interested in seeing a post-consumer recycled car made of metal and plastic than a (largely) pre-consumer food based car.

Re:Doesn't this fall victim to the Ethanol Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27693725)

Oh, no... not that old chestnut again "don't burn food because then poor people can't afford to eat"
Simple economics shows that food prices will re-balance themselves among commodities which are NOT being used for fuel. If we use corn for fuel, then prices for peas and carrots will fall. It's a zero-sum system.
Unless you're one of those anti-energy nuts who don't even like solar or wind energy. (and I won't even mention bean energy)

Finally, a friend (1)

indiejade (850391) | more than 5 years ago | (#27693823)

for the Nascar grapes [zentu.net]

Bernie Ecclestone (1)

wicho661 (1007571) | more than 5 years ago | (#27693839)

Be careful with this information because, if the FIA gets wind of it, there will be new sporting regulations in Formula One in 2010 on grounds of 'unsafe health advantages'.

Is this really a good idea (4, Insightful)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27693873)

Converting food into building material? Is this really a good idea?

Right now, corn is being converted into fuel, in a very inefficient manner, only affordable because of massive government subsidies (the pump prices held down by pulling money out of your wallet through taxes). Corn once was a cheap staple for poor people worldwide. Corn prices have gone up because of this ethanol, which means more starvation worldwide.

What will happen to other food prices if this keeps going on. How much will they subsidise the increased food prices, or are we going to have to start eating oil?

government subsidies (2, Informative)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 5 years ago | (#27695523)

Right now, corn is being converted into fuel, in a very inefficient manner, only affordable because of massive government subsidies

Corn and other farmers have been getting government subsidies for more than 100 years though.

Falcon

Re:government subsidies (1)

Waccoon (1186667) | more than 5 years ago | (#27699571)

Heck, farmers were paid to grow grass.

Re:government subsidies (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 5 years ago | (#27707779)

Heck, farmers were paid to grow grass.

They are paid not to grow anything, for conservation [ewg.org] .

Falcon

Re:Is this really a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27696861)

I been saying this for years why would you want to take food out of humans mouth to build,run, or power your car.Is really sustainable when we cant feed the world yet?

Re:Is this really a good idea (1)

teumesmo (1217442) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700121)

Biofuels without subsidies are entirely possible, look at Brazil's sugar cane industries.

But that's not really the issue, the issue is "food production". Fertile soil is hardly the most abundant thing around, and the fertilizing of soil certainly not an engineering feat that warrants the words "easy" nor "cheap".

Perhaps the scientific community should start minding the business opportunities they make possible...

The world's fastest carrot? (1)

Sumbius (1500703) | more than 5 years ago | (#27693933)

So, now we have the world's fastest carrot? Well I can't say that I hadn't always hoped for a borch soup on wheels...

Re:The world's fastest carrot? (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 5 years ago | (#27694821)

Nah, it's just a Mechanostrider w/ a Carrot (On a stick)

What about... (1)

MasseKid (1294554) | more than 5 years ago | (#27694283)

The engine? And the fuel lines? And the tires? Come back to the real world where metal and plastics are still king.

Rubber tires? (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#27694445)

Geez, how hard was that?

plastics (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 5 years ago | (#27695589)

Come back to the real world where metal and plastics are still king.

Plastics were originally made from plants not petroleum. Remember Cellphane [wikipedia.org] , that plastic food wrapping? It was made from plant cellulose.

Falcon

Correction (2, Informative)

julesh (229690) | more than 5 years ago | (#27694631)

the Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre of the University of Warwicks in the UK

That's the International Manufacturing Centre [warwick.ac.uk] (not "Innovative", and doesn't have "Research" in its name), which is at the University of Warwick [warwick.ac.uk] (not -s, which would be an abbreviation of Warwickshire).

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27695745)

Please do *not* expect Murkins to be able to tell /dev/arse from /etc/elbow.

huh? (2, Funny)

arnodf (1310501) | more than 5 years ago | (#27694727)

'waste chocolate'? I'm afraid I don't understand :s

Re:huh? (2, Funny)

jfmonte (1336577) | more than 5 years ago | (#27699773)

it's probably that white chocolate crap... :)

so i'm not crazy! (2, Funny)

gadabyte (1228808) | more than 5 years ago | (#27694955)

It also has a racing seat made of SoyFoam, a soybean oil-based, flexible foam material.

i've daydreamed about striking it rich with soybean based home insulation, mainly so i'd have an excuse to say "insoylation."

ROFL! (1)

woboyle (1044168) | more than 5 years ago | (#27697943)

I suppose that this is the world's first vegan, edible automobile? If you get hungry while traveling, just nibble on the accessories! :-)

Chocolate Waste? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27698209)

My wife has told me there is no such thing as chocolate waste.

It sounds like this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27699449)

VROOOOM-NOM-NOM

Starving mad (1)

Swiper (1336263) | more than 5 years ago | (#27699517)

When will people stop thinking it's cool to find new ways of wasting food? Whilst Carbon Fibre may be expensive, at least it's not using up food (that is sorely needed in many parts of the world) to be made.

Allergies (2, Interesting)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700435)

What if someone is allergic to one of the many vegetables made, and does not know it, they should include epipin in there for the driver, who knows....who knows...

Is there a special low carb sauce that can go with that to make it more appealing?

If they use enough Veggies And Chocolate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27711409)

will they have to carry a spare tyre?

I do not play too many games (1)

yavrusinek (1540929) | more than 5 years ago | (#27712919)

I do not play too many games. In my spare time I'm doing website, online film publication. sinema izle [sinema9.com]

Caution Around Farms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27740269)

I would imagine their disclaimer would read something like this.

CAUTION
We assume no liability in any way whatsoever should your vehicle be eaten, attacked by farm animals, or rot out in the sun. Furthermore operation of this vehicle requires storage in a refrigerated garage for 22 hours per day when not in use.

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