Robert Slattery is a writer living in Western North Carolina. He enjoys music and all sorts of other things.
Fuel Back Up Plan
Environment – Cliff Ricketts, an agricultural education professor at Middle Tennessee State University, has a big trip ahead of him, and he’s only got a little bit of fuel. He plans to drive across the country on 10 gallons of gasoline, from Savannah, Georgia to Long Beach, California.
The 63-year-old’s plan involves refitting three vehicles — two Priuses and a Tercel — to run off of “compressed hydrogen, batteries, or E95,” a fuel that is “mostly ethanol with a little conventional gasoline mixed in.” Though he had hoped to “go coast to coast on sun and water,” the cost of hydrogen tanks forced him to use E95. His adventure would be entirely free of gasoline if not for this setback.
His project has been supported by research grants and students, and he hopes to determine how effectively these fuel sources work in practical circumstances. And while the experiment has green movement implications, his goals are not necessarily to make any kind of statement, though he does see it has having “peace implications.”
His interest in the project stems from the oil crisis of the 70′s, when the price of gasoline tripled. Considering the current (read: constant) tension in the Middle East, he hopes to help alleviate future national crises: “In case there was a national emergency now, it wouldn’t be unrealistic for gas to go to $10 or $15 a gallon in the U.S….If that happens, people will go, ‘What do we do?’ Well, we’ve got a backup plan.”
Read more at Yahoo! News.